In Bologna, where the new civil and political life was intense and at the glorious Studio, readers and schoolchildren flocked from all over Italy and beyond the Alps, the high lyric of love, of which the Sicilians had elaborated the language and metric on the void of thought and Guittone reinvigorated the style with a transfusion of meditative material, produced the first flower of national literature by Guido Guinizelli (died 1276), the soul of a thinker and a poet at the same time. His language, although spotted with dialectal elements, is that illustrious vulgar that Dante considers an expression of Italianity; his concept of the inseparable Love from a kind heart, that is the power of virtue that the beloved soul makes current, is the original application and development of a fundamental scholastic doctrine; the images in which the concept is embodied, Love always repairs to the gentle heart ; from the gentle comparisons of celestial and spring brightness to the terrifying symbols of some few sonnets full of incisive evidence, they are creations of a warm fantasy that makes the renewed human and Italian spirituality primarily sensitive.
To the school that was precisely that of the “new style”, Guinizelli left the legacy of a thought capable of developing in other forms of life. In fact, he had followers and continuators in Florence in a group of poets that flourished at the time of the second people and democratic reforms: Guido Cavalcanti, Lapo Gianni dei Ricevuti, Dino Frescobaldi, Gianni Alfani, Dante Alighieri. Like Guinizelli, they represent love now as a torment of the soul and terrible loss of their whole being, and now as mystical adoration, yearning for spiritual union with the beautiful soul of the beloved woman who, an evanescent image of holiness and of purity, lifts the poet to heaven, taken by an ineffable ardor of goodness and virtue. And their feeling they analyze scientifically, expanding, discussing, contradicting the Guinizellian doctrine and personifying in as many spirits and sprites all the faculties and all the states of the soul; master of such analyzes Guido Cavalcanti, who in a much popular song and commented on several times in Latin, showed through averroistic concepts and scholastic methods, how love is born and tyrannically operates in souls.
But if to contemporaries loyal to the content aesthetics of the Middle Ages, the song Donna begs me it seemed admirable, in our eyes Cavalcanti rises high above his peers rhymers, the only one worthy of being approached as a lyricist to Dante, for the florid sonnets of lively poetry and for the simple and delicate ballads, where he sings monna Vanna, the Tolosan Mandetta and other women. His imagination gives sensible forms to the world of the spirit analyzed by the philosopher, and the abstractions he sees orde touches, transformed into concrete realities, that move, speak, cry, laugh, like living people, in dramatic scenes full of agitation, where love is represented as passion that pines and devours, like a tragic threat of death. If, more rarely, Cavalcanti describes the beauty and grace of his woman shining and working on earth as an angel, the sonnets unfold sweet and serene in the sweetness and serenity of the heavenly vision,