System on the complete works
Alberto Acquaro's studio
| Subjects treated
in the chapters of the Vita Nuova
VITA NUOVA - Chap.I - Following Aristotelian rules, Dante precedes his
narration with a Proem, which gives the title of his work; it begins
with his earliest memories.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.II -Dante remembers the first time he met Beatrice,
when she was just nine and he was nearing ten. His love for her began
at that moment, and he longed to find her again.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.III - Sonnet "A ciascun'alma presa" - Dante recalls
Beatrice's first greeting. The emotion led to a dream which he wrote
about in a sonnet; Guido Cavalcanti replied and so their friendship
VITA NUOVA - Cap.IV - From the day Beatrice first greeted him and his
dream, Dante was so in love with her that all those who knew him were
amazed at his behaviour.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.V - Dante recalls an episode that helped him hide
his love for Beatrice: whilst he was admiring her among several women,
one thought he was looking at her, leading to a useful misunderstanding.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.VI - During that time, whilst he was concealing his
love, Dante wrote a poetic letter in Provenšal; in it he lists the names
of the most beautiful women in Florence.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.VII - Sonnet "O voi che per la via" - The lady whom
Dante pretended to love left Florence; to express his disappointment
Dante wrote the sonnet (double) given below.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.VIII - Sonnet "Piangete, amanti" and the double sonnet
"Morte villana" - Dante remembers the death of a friend of Beatrice's
and wrote the two sonnets given below.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.IX - Sonnet "Cavalcando" - Dante recalls a journey
he made to the place where the lady he used as a "shield" lived; he
wrote the following sonnet in memory of this event.
VITA NUOVA - Chap. X - After the journey Dante wrote about in the previous
chapter, and because of a lot of gossip, Beatrice refuses to speak to
him, which throws him into despair.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XI - Dante tells how much joy the kindly greeting
from the woman he loves gives him.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XII - Ballad "Ballata i' voi" - Dante recalls the
moments of despair after losing Beatrice's greeting; his suffering and
regret inspired the ballad below.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XIII - Sonnet "Tutti li miei penser" - Dante reflects
on his state of dejection; conflicting thoughts assail him and disorient
him. These memories inspired the following sonnet.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XIV - Sonnet "Con altre donne" - Dante painfully remembers
a later meeting with Beatrice, at a wedding; the women with Beatrice
found his embarrassment an object of derision.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XV - Sonnet "Ci˛ che m'incontra" - After the episode
described in the previous chapter, Dante thinks about what happened.
His sorrowful thoughts inspired the sonnet below.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XVI - Sonnett "Spesse fiate" - Dante again stops on
the paralising effects that the sight of Beatrice has on him.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XVII - Once the period of despair is over, described
in the three previous sonnets, Dante turns to new thoughts.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XVIII - Dante recalls a meeting wtih some of Beatrice's
friends; in reply to a question from one of them, he says that having
lost greetings of the one he loves, his happiness is praising her.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XIX - Song "Donne che avete" - After a few days of
hesitation, during a journey Dante decides to start writing again, not
only for Beatrice but for all women who know love.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XX - Sonnet "Amore e 'l cor gentil" - After the Song
"Donne che avete", at the request of a friend, Dante wrote this sonnet
on the nature of love.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXI - Sonnet "Ne li occhi porta" - Following the sonnet
on the nature of love, Dante feels the need to write another to explain
how Beatrice was able to inspire that sort of love.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXII - Sonnet "Voi che portate la sembianza umile"
and "Se' tu colui c'hai trattato sovente" - On the death of Beatrice's
father, Dante cries for her and pretends to speak to the women with
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXIII - Song "Donna pietosa e di novella etate" -
Dante tells how, during an illness, he experienced sad reveries with
presentiments of his own and Beatrice's death, inspiring the song below.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXIV - Sonnet "Io mi senti' svegliar" - This tells
about an imaginary love during that period; Giovanna, the women Guido
Cavalcanti loved, and Beatrice are protagonists, described in this sonnet.
VITA NUOVA - Cap.XXV - Dante treats the rhetorical style he uses to
personify the concept of Love, giving several examples of Latin poets
who used it (Virgil, Lucan, Horace, Ovid).
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXVI - Sonnets "Tanto gentile" and "Vede - perfettamente
onne salute". In praise of Beatrice, again Dante tells of the wonder
she inspires and the nobility she confers to all that surrounds her.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXVII - Song "Sý lungiamente". The previous two sonnets
described the effect Beatrice had on others; here Dante tells how her
virtues affect him; he begins a song, the first stanza follows.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXVIII - After the song's 1st stanza, Beatrice left
the earthly world. Dante decides not to speak of her death; he only
says how the number nine also marked this event and why.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXIX - Beatrice left the world on the ninth day of
June (the ninth Arabian month). Dante explains how the number that marked
Beatrice's destiny is linked to holiness and perfection.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXX - After the death of Beatrice, Dante finds Florence
stripped of its dignity. He cites the "incipit" of the lament of Jeremiah,
as a sign of the subjects he will treat next.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXI - Song "Li occhi dolenti per pietÓ del core"
- Dante, heart-broken, after crying so much wrote this song to pour
out his sorrow.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXII - Sonnet "Venite a intender li sospiri miei"
- Beatrice's brother, a friend of Dante, asks him to write in memory
of someone dead, pretending it is not his sister. Dante wrote the following
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXIII - Song "Quantunque volte" - Dante, as well
as the previous sonnet, also wrote a two-stanza song for Beatrice's
brother; the first is the lament of his friend, the second that of Dante.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXIV - Sonnet "Era venuta" (with two beginnings")
- On the anniversary of Beatrice's death, whilst Dante draws some angels
in her memory, Dante greets some friends, dedicating the sonnet to them.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXV - Sonnet "Videro li occhi miei" - Dis- heartened
and pensive, one day Dante notices a beautiful young woman looking at
him in pity from a window. This sonnet is about her.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXVI - Sonnet "Color d'Amore" - Dante often met the
eyes of the lady to whom he dedicated the previous sonnet; her glance
full of love inspired this other sonnet.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXVII - Sonnet "L'amaro lagrimar". The pleasure Dante
found in looking at the young women made him feel painfully guilty,
which he expresses in the following sonnet.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXVIII - Sonnet "Gentil pensero" - Torn between a
sense of guilt and the thoughts that Love could be giving him some consolation,
Dante wrote the following sonnet.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XXXIX - Sonnet "Lasso! per forza di molti sospiri"
- On the ninth hour of the following day, Dante had a vision of the
first time he met Beatrice; he sincerely regrets his weakness.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XL - "Deh peregrini che pensosi andate". Dante recalls
how during Holy Week, when the Holy Shroud was displayed, he wanted
to speak about Beatrice to some of the pilgrims there.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XLI - Sonnet "Oltre la spera" - Two women ask Dante
if he will give them the previous sonnet; this he does together with
another sonnet especially written for the occasion.
VITA NUOVA - Chap.XLII - After writing the last sonnet, Dante had a
vision that convinced him not to write about Beatrice again, at least
not until he was able to write in a manner more worthy of her.