Rustico di Filippo. “Sonnet. Of the Making of Master Messerin.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


“Table of Poets” (in Early Italian Poets) I. xxix-xxx

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, II. 353-365

◦ Trucchi, Poesie Italiana inedite, I. 225

Scholarly Commentary


DGR's note on this versatile Florentine poet, who worked in various styles, remains pertinent. Rustico was born around 1230 and died near the century's end, and he is best known for his comic and realistic verse, similar to the work of Cecco Angiolieri. The source text is Poesie Italiane inedite (I. 225).

The subject of this caricature is Albizzo de' Caponsacchi (known as the Lord Messerin), who may have been the maternal uncle of Beatrice Portinari. The diction of the translation is effective but the opening quatrain's metrics, a kind of doggerel, weaken the sonnet. DGR would probably have done much better to have flattened the verse toward a prose rhythm of the kind one sees in so many of his other translations.

Textual History: Composition

The translation is probably an early one, 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: 140d-1861.raw.xml