Guido Cavalcanti. “Canzone. A Dispute with Death.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?; 1861
Rhyme: stanza, abcabccdcdee; congedo, abbaacc
Meter: iambic trimeter and pentameter
Genre: canzone

Scholarly Commentary


DGR translated this poem because he liked it, even though he was aware it was attributed to Cavalcanti only under dubious authority. It is in fact the best of the four inauthentic canzoni, as DGR judged it to be, and the translation reflects its strength and clean movement. The actual author is unknown. DGR's source text in Cicciaporci (Rime Inedite, Canzone XI, pages 68-71) is reasonably clean. It derives from a manuscript in the Biblioteca Municipale di Siena (1.ix.18), which was the source of two other of these inauthentic canzoni.

Textual History: Composition

Probably an early translation, late 1840s.

Printing History

The translation was first published in 1861 in The Early Italian Poets; it was reprinted in 1874 in Dante and his Circle.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 112d-1861.raw.xml