Giovanni Boccaccio. “Sonnet. Of Fiammetta singing.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1855-1860?
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde
Meter: imabic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


◦ Villarosa, ed., Raccolta, IV. 17

◦ Ricci, ed., Opere in versi

Scholarly Commentary


This is the first of three sonnets by or attributed to Boccaccio that DGR translated “for their beauty alone”. The other two are: “Of his last sight of Fiametta”, and “Of three Girls and of their Talk”. His three other translations of Boccaccian sonnets were all made because they showed “the enthusiastic reverence” that Boccaccio had for Dante and his work. These are: “To one who had censured his public Exposition of Dante”; “Inscription for a Portrait of Dante”; and “To Dante in Paradise, after Fiammetta's death”.

DGR's source text for this translation is the sonnet numbered XVII in the Boccaccio section of the collection Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (IV. 17). Contemporary scholars like Ricci, however, do not include the sonnet among Boccaccio's authoritative works.

Textual History: Composition

As with most of DGR's translations of the early Italian poets, the date of this one cannot be determined with certainty. It is probably one of the later translations.

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: 94d-1861.raw.xml