Guido Cavalcanti. “Sonnet (to Bernardo da Bologna). He answers Bernardo, commending Pinella, and saying that the Love he can offer her is already shared by many noble Ladies.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


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

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, II. 552-553

◦ Cassata, Guido Cavalcanti. Rime, 200-203

Scholarly Commentary


This sonnet responds to the one addressed to Cavalcanti by Bernardo da Bologna. The subject of each is, as so often in Cavalcanti's work, the respective power and relation of love and poetry.

The rhyme scheme follows the source text in Cicciaporci (Sonnet XV, page 8). The translation, which is quite free in several places, nonetheless captures very well the esprit of the original. Certain extremely witty effects in Cavalcanti remain, however, virtually untranslatable (in particular Cavalcanti's several variational rhymes on Bernardo's equivalent lines).

Textual History: Composition

Probably 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: 124d-1861.raw.xml