Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the The Early Italian Poets text .
DGR closes his book of translations with a commentary on Boccaccio
and a selection of his sonnets. The intention is to illustrate the continuity
that stretches from the primitive Italian writers of the late twelfth-century to
this great figure of the Italian Renaissance. DGR means to show that “Dante
and his Circle” spread out across a wide cultural horizon.
As his own paintings and poems on the subject of Fiammetta suggest,
however, DGR perceives a deeper significance in Boccaccio's admiration for
Dante in particular. That admiration stands as an index of the availability of
Dante's spirit to later kindred spirits; and Fiammetta thereby becomes the
generic sign and name for the “small fires” that may be lit from
the sun of Dante. (For further commentary see DGR's double work of
DGR probably wrote this commentary fairly late—probably early or
mid-1861, when he was putting the whole book of translations together.
First published in 1861 in
Early Italian Poets; it was reprinted in 1874 in
and his Circle.