Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. Of Becchina, and of her Husband.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


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

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 112-113

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, I. 92

Scholarly Commentary


Perhaps the most arresting moment in DGR's sonnet is the problematic final two lines. They do not render the sense of Cecco's text, much less its literal meaning, and they run a syntax that is difficult to understand. The problem comes in the expression “God send”, which doesn't parse in English and doesn't reflect anything in the Italian either. Perhaps DGR means the phrase to reference a grief sent by God.

DGR's sonnet captures rather well Cecco's self-undermining ironies, perhaps most Trucchi's effectively in the final line when he veers far from the literal sense of the original sonnet in order to secure a hold on its tone.

DGR's source text was Trucchi (I. 273). 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 in 1874 in Dante and his Circle.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 64d-1861.raw.xml