Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. Of all he would do. ”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1845-1849
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


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

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 163-164

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, 112

Scholarly Commentary


The original sonnet by Cecco Angiolieri is a famous burlesque work and DGR's version is worthy of the original. The management of the rhythm of the second quatrain is especially fine.

Ironizing as it does the voice of the poet in the poem, Cecco's sonnet is finally a parodic transformation of the poetic tradition it is drawing upon. The sonnet triumphs in its bold skill and panache exactly because it skirts so close to travesty. In DGR's corpus, a close equivalent and analogue is the splendid burlesque “Parted Love!”, which reflects upon and plays with DGR's serious love sonnet “Parted Love`”.

DGR's source text was Villaroso's Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (II. 157). For further general information about Cecco and his work see the commentary for “Dante Alighieri, Cecco, your good friend”).

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 unaltered in 1874 in Dante and his Circle.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 63d-1861.raw.xml