Guido Orlandi. “Prolonged Sonnet (to Guido Cavalcanti). He finds fault with the Conceits of the foregoing Sonnet [Sonnet. Of his Pain from a new Love.]”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?; 1861
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecdeff
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: prolonged sonnet


“Introduction to Part II” (in Early Italian Poets) 193-206

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, II. 564

◦ Cassata, Guido Cavalcanti. Rime, 229-231

Scholarly Commentary


As DGR's headnote to this extended sonnet shows, he believed it was written in response to the sonnet by Cavalcanti that precedes this one in the 1861 volume of his translations. But it is now known that Orlandi's sonnet responds to a different work by Cavalcanti, and one not known to DGR's source editor, Cicciaporci: the sonnet “Di vil matera mi conven parlare”. As a consequence, the translation seems slightly but materially unengaged with the key issues raised in the sonnet: the relation of verse wit and the understanding of love. Orlandi's sonnet (and Cavalcanti's) are in fact part of the longer tenzone that was initiated in other sonnets translated by DGR, but which he did not realize were part of a longer unit of poetical exchanges between the two men (see “Guido, an image of my lady dwells”, which is the first sonnet in the exchange).

DGR varies the rhyme scheme of the original, but (as usual) in a way that adheres to typical early Italian form.

DGR's source text was Poeti del Primo Secolo (II. 271).

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: 176d-1861.raw.xml