Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. Concerning his Father.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1860
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


“Introduction to Part II” (in Early Italian Poets) 212-217

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 156

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, 116 (II. 130)


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


DGR's note to the sonnet explaining that he moderated “one of two expressions” in Cecco's poem refers to lines 7 and 14: the former has an anti-semitic reference and the latter says literally that Cecco ought to eat his father alive.

Except for the elision in line 7, which breaks the colloquial tone, DGR manages to render Cecco's invectivew pretty well. This is one of the famous sequence of sonnets Cecco wrote against his father—splendid pieces of venomous verse. See also the even more remarkable “Let not the inhabitants of Hell despair” and “Who utters of his father aught but praise”.

DGR's source text was Villaroso's Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (II. 163). For further general information about Cecco and his work see the commentary for “Dante Alighieri, Cecco, your good friend”).

Textual History: Composition

This seems to have been a later translation, as we judge from DGR's fair copy of his Italian source text, which is copied on paper stock with an 1860 watermark. This text is very different from the text now considerd authoritative by scholars.

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: 56d-1861.raw.xml