Introducing Dante

Dante's "Rime"

Apart from the poetry of the Commedia and that contained in works such as the Vita nova and the Convivio, Dante composed a number of other poems throughout his life. Although not intended by Dante as a single collection they are today generally collected under the title of Rime.

The Rime reveal the full variety and richness of Dante's experimentation with poetry. They include lyrics in the 'dolce stil novo' tradition, doctrinal and philosophical poems, and lower style compositions in the so-called 'rime petrose'. The 'rime petrose' are particularly significant, insofar as they are consciously opposed, in both style and content, to the 'dolce stil novo'. The 'rime petrose', like the lyrics of the 'dolce stil novo', are poems about love. But in the 'rime petrose' love is reflected upon in harsh and bitter terms and the poet's beloved is referred to through cold and unfeeling imagery. Linguistically, the 'rime petrose' are characterised by harsh sounds and difficult diction.

© Vittorio Montemaggi, Matthew Treherne, Abi Rowson

This resource is a collaboration between the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies at the University of Leeds, and the Devers Program in Dante Studies at the University of Notre Dame