Guido Cavalcanti

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Guido Cavalcanti (1259 – August 1300) was an Italian poet from Florence.[1] He was the best friend of Dante Alighieri as well as an influence on his thinking.[2] Cavalcanti is one of the most important poet of Dolce stil novo,[3] and he is widely regarded as the first major poet of Italian literature.

Biography[change | change source]

Cavalcanti was born in a noble guelph; his father was Cavalcante de Cavalcanti. In 1267 he got married to Bice, daughter of Farinata degli Uberti, leader of the florentine ghibellines. In 1284 he became a member od general council, together with Brunetto Latini and Dino Compagni.[4] On June 24 1300 he was exiled, so he went to Sarzana. On August 19 of the same year he could return in Florence, but he died after a few days, on August 29.

Works[change | change source]

Guido Cavalcanti wrote sonnets and ballads. Only fifty two poems by the poet are known today.[5] Hist best works are the canzone Donna mi prega (A lady asks me), the ballad I' prego voi che di dolor parlate (I ask you that speak about suffering) and the sonnet L’anima mia vilment’ è sbigotita (My soul is in distress).

Translations[change | change source]

Cavalcanti's poems were translated into English by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ezra Pound[6] and A.S. Kline.

References[change | change source]

  1. Guido Cavalcanti, Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  2. Jay Ruud, Critical Companion to Dante. A literary reference to his life and work, New York, p. 417, ISBN 978-0-8160-6521-9.
  3. Guido Cavalcanti, Letteratura italiana.
  4. Cavalcanti Guido, Treccani, la cultura italiana.
  5. Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature. Edited by Laura C. Lambdin, Robert T. Lambdin, Routledge, Abingdon 2000, p. 83, ISBN 1-57958-054-8.
  6. The Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti (a selection).

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Sonnets and Ballate of Guido Cavalcanti with translations of them and an Introduction by Ezra Pound, Stephen Swift and Co. Ltd., London 1912.

Other websites[change | change source]