Stewart is a particularly faithful translator, retaining the rhythms (Merini often wrote unrhymed hendecasyllabic
verse, the closest equivalent of which is regular blank verse in English), uneven punctuation and tortured syntax of the original poems.
After the description of the females entering the small lake, the phrasing reaches its climax with a simile taken from Ovid, and expressed in a double hendecasyllabic
structure: "They all seven undressed and got into the water, which to the whiteness of their flesh was even such a veil as fine glass is to the vermeil of the rose" ("Tutte e sette si spogliarono e entrarono in esso, il quale non altramenti li lor corpi candidi nascondeva che farebbe una vermiglia rosa un sottil vetro" 6.
Divided into three sections and written entirely in hendecasyllabic
lines, The Rest of the Voyage is a reflection on travel, form, and how the way we write about what we observe can affect our experiences.
Despite not formally adhering to Catullus' hendecasyllabic
metre or Petrarch's Italian sonnet, the poem is influenced by both.
Navarrete interprets Boscan's preface to Boscan's and Garcilaso's 1543 Obras as a courtly defense of the hendecasyllabic
line and an implicit alliance of Italian versification with the cosmopolitan court of Charles V.
There are already signs at this early stage (the poem is dated February 25, 1949) of what will turn out to be certain recurrences on the brink of monotony in Merini's poetry, like the hendecasyllabic
solemnity and a certain looseness in the handling of metaphors.
It seems to me, for instance, that a sonnet translated without rhyme is no longer a sonnet, and that a hendecasyllabic
poem can be translated into free verse only at the risk of distorting the original voice beyond recognition.
Whereas Pulci's Italian hendecasyllabic
octaves rhyme abababcc, Tusiani has chosen to approximate that form with an English blank verse sestette, followed by a rhyming or half-rhyming pentameter couplet.
The text is written in 80 hendecasyllabic
octaves (ottava rima) with the rhyme scheme ABABABCC.
He has chosen to represent the Italian rhymed hendecasyllabic
line and stanza with English blank verse.
When two hammers answer each other five times on the anvil--ti-tum, ti-tum, ti-tum, ti-tum, ti-tum," Graves suggests, "there you have Chaucer's familiar hendecasyllabic
For example, Sonnet 20 is one of only two sonnets in the sequence that employ feminine rhyme throughout: its lines are hendecasyllabic
and the final syllable of each line is unstressed.