Enzo, King of Sardinia. “Sonnet. On the Fitness of Seasons.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


“Table of Poets” (in Early Italian Poets) I. xxv

◦ Panvini, ed., Le rime della scuola siciliana I. 456

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, I. 155

Scholarly Commentary


The natural son of Frederick II, Enzo (1220[?]-1272) is an important figure in the history of early Italian poetry because he seems to have been a major source of the transmission of the new Sicilian court poetry to Bologna. The relation came about through Enzo's unfortunate capture at the battle of Fossalta (1249) and his subsequent imprisonment in Bologna for the rest of his life. His influence on Guinizelli was particularly crucial.

He is best known for his canzone “S' eo trovasse Pietanza”. Whether this sonnet translated by DGR is or isn't Enzo's original composition is debatable; most scholars do not assign it to him.

DGR's source is the text in Poeti del Primo Secolo (I. 177). It is there atttributed to Enzo but headed with a note indicating that the poem is elsewhere attributed to Fra Guittone d'Arezzo. But Guittone does not appear to be the author either, according to modern scholars.

Textual History: Composition

As with most of DGR's translations, this one cannot be exactly fixed. It is probably a fairly early work, however—done in the 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: 139d-1861.raw.xml