Al poco giorno e al gran cerchio d'ombra

Dante Alighieri

General Description

Date: 1296-1297 (winter)
Meter: hendecasyllabics
Genre: sestina


◦ Robert M. Durling and Ronald L. Martinez, Time and the Crystal. Studies in Dante's Rime Petrose Berkeley, CA 1990

◦ M. Barbi e P. Pernicone, eds., Dante Alighieri. Rime della Maturita e dell'Esilio Firenze 1969 554-561

Foster and Boyde I. 163-165; II, 265-268.

Surtees I. 135 (Virginia Surtees. The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882). A Catalogue Raisonne.)

M 188 (H. C. Marillier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. An Illustrated Memorial of his Life and Art.)

Fraticelli (1834) CCXL-CCXLIII, 97-98


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Fraticelli Text.

Scholarly Commentary


Like Dante's other rime petrose, this sestina probably dates from the winter of 1296-1297. It has been the most commented upon of all the rime petrose, and it has long been recognized as one of the most complex and intellectually rigorous of his lesser works. The importance that Dante himself attached to the work is clear from the two important discussions of the poem that he gives in De vulgari eloquentia (II.x.2, II.xiii.2), where Dante lays out his debt to Arnaut Daniel. Dante does not mention, however, the Daniel poem that his own work follows so closely: “Lo ferm voler q'el cor m'intra”.

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