The Sicilian School was a small community of Sicilian poets gathered around Frederick II, most of them belonging to his court, the Magna Curia. Headed by Giacomo da Lentini, they produced more than 300 poems of courtly love between 1230 and 1266, the experiment being continued after Frederick's death by his son, Manfred.
Giacomo da Lentini is credited by many scholars for inventing the sonnet, a literary form later perfected by Dante and Petrarch - and later: Shakespeare. He uses it in a number of poems. Here is the most famous:
Io m'aggio posto in core a Dio servire,
com'io potesse gire in paradiso,
al santo loco c'aggio audito dire,
o' si mantien sollazzo, gioco e riso.
sanza mia donna non vi voria gire,
quella c'ha blonda testa e claro viso,
che sanza lei non poteria gaudere,
estando da la mia donna diviso.
Ma no lo dico a tale intendimento,
perch'io pecato ci volesse fare;
se non veder lo suo bel portamento
e lo bel viso e 'l morbido sguardare:
che 'l mi teria in gran consolamento,
veggendo la mia donna in ghiora stare.
I have a place in my heart for God reserved,
So that I may go to Heaven,
To the Holy Place where, I have heard,
People are always happy and joyous and merry.
I wouldn't want to go there without my lady
The one with fair hair and pale complexion,
Because without her I could never be happy,
Being separated from my lady.
But I do not say that with blasphemous intent,
As if I wanted to sin with her:
If I did not see her shapely figure
And her beautiful face and tender look:
Since it would greatly comfort me
To see my woman shine in glory.
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