Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. Of his four Tormentors.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


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

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 125-126

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, I. 111 (II. 129)


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


Cecco's hostility to his father carries over to his mother as well in this amusing and virulent sonnet. DGR does not handle it well—doubtless his well-known care for his mother (and for his father as well) made a piece of invective like this a sore test of his poetical powers. Byron would have known how to manage such a work, but in DGR's hands it comes off as stiff and ineffective. 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

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: 67d-1861.raw.xml