Cino da Pistoia. “Sonnet (to Dante Alighieri). He interprets Dante's Dream related in the first Sonnet of the Vita Nuova.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


“Introduction to Part II” (in The Early Italian Poets), 206-211

◦ Foster and Boyd, Dante's Lyric Poetry, I. 14-17 (II. 28-29) .

◦ Marti ed., Poeti del dolce stil nuovo, 720-725 .

Scholarly Commentary


The sonnet is one of the three most famous response/interpretations of the opening sonnet in Dante's Vita Nuova. The authorship of the sonnet, once firmly attributed to Cino, is now regarded by scholars as uncertain—perhaps it is Cino's, perhaps it is by Terino da Castelfiorentino.

The reading of Dante's sonnet is notably clear and benevolent. DGR seems to have marked his own sense of this quality of the original Italian sonnet when he translates “la visione” as “strange vision”. What is most “strange” in the Italian sonnet is precisely its failure to register the strangeness of Dante's sonnet.

DGR's source text was Ciampi's edition of Vita e Poesie di Messer Cino da Pistoia page 98.

Textual History: Composition

Probably early, 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: 194d-1861.raw.xml