Guido Cavalcanti. “Sonnet. On the Detection of a false Friend.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?; 1861
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


“Introduction to Part II” (in The Early Italian Poets), 193-206

◦ Cassata, Guido Cavalcanti. Rime, 187-188

◦ DeRobertis and Contini, eds., Dante. Operi Minori 500-501

Scholarly Commentary


Though attributed to Cavalcanti in DGR's source text, Cicciaporci (Sonnet II in the “Rime Inedite”, page 40), the sonnet is not his but (perhaps) Dante's, although some Dante scholars dispute that attribution as well. DGR's note to the title underscores a problem in the text that might have led him (and Cicciaporci before him) to rethink the attribution. See the discussion in Cassata (185-186). Contrary to DGR's identification of the Guido of line 1 with Guido Orlandi, the reference seems to be Cavalcanti, with the sonnet being closely related to Dante's sonnet treating the magical voyage of love.

The rhyme scheme departs from the original in the sestet.

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: 122d-1861.raw.xml