Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. Of Becchina the Shoemaker's daughter.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


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

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 52-53

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, I. 79


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


The sonnet provides a good example of the way DGR went about trying to give a “faithful” rendering of his original texts. Like so many of Cecco's poems, this one gains its force by playing a colloquial style through the traditonal tropes of a courtly love discourse. Cecco's object, like his innamorata, is of the earth, earthy. DGR's translational method is to seek opportunities for reflecting that kind of treatment wherever he can find them in his English text, irrespective of whether those moments are the same in his original. Sometimes this procedure leads DGR rather far from his source, as here in line 10. But the larger end does justify the means in these cases.

DGR's source text was Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (II. 158).

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 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: 66d-1861.raw.xml