Dante Alighieri. “Sonnet (to Brunetto Latini). Sent with the Vita Nuova.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1861
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


“Introduction to Part II” (in The Early Italian Poets) 189-193

◦ Foster and Boyd, Dante's Lyric Poetry, I.156-159 (II. 255-257) .


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Early Italian Poets text.

Scholarly Commentary


This ironical sonnet has many local difficulties although its general import is clear: it makes fun of the addressee's imaginative dullness as a reader. DGR's subtext, identifying the “little maid” as Dante's autobiography, is a view by no means generally held.

DGR's translation is rather good in rendering Dante's playfulness. It is also a text that, in the event, proves singularly apt for DGR himself and the notorious difficulty his poetry presented for readers.

The source text for DGR's translation was Fraticelli's was Opere Minori di Dante Alighieri (I. 144-145).

Textual History: Composition

Probably an early translation, 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: 40d-1861.raw.xml