Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. In absence from Becchina.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1849?
Rhyme: ababababcdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


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

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 5-6

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, 74

Scholarly Commentary


This sonnet was a last minute addition to DGR's 1861 volume of translations. It replaced the poem originally printed at page 409, which carried the same title. The latter was clearly removed because of its bawdy character.

The most notable stylistic feature of this sonnet is DGR's clever replication of Cecco's “rimalmezzo equivoche”, i.e., the structure of internal repetitions that pick up the previous line's rhyme word. That such an artificial form should move as easily as does this sonnet is no mean achievement. DGR's source was Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (II. 164)

For further general information about Cecco and his work see the commentary for “Dante Alighieri, Cecco, your good friend”).

DGR translated another sonnet by Cecco under approximately the same title. It is a much more bawdy piece and was not published in DGR's lifetime.

Textual History: Composition

Probably an early work, 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: 62d-1861.raw.xml