The sonnet Ben che io senta, an opinionated invective against poets overeager to have their lyrics adorned with melody, is one of Franco Sacchetti’s most famous reflections on the relationship between music and poetry. Sacchetti’s status as both the most prolific poet of Trecento song texts and a dabbling composer garners him authority on the subject, and considering the paucity of other contemporary writings directly addressing this issue, his words are

caught the attention of scholars seeking to define the relationship between poetry and music in late medieval Italy through the term “poesia per musica.” As far back as Giosuè Carducci’s seminal article of 1870 on poetry and music in the Trecento, the sonnet has been cited as proof that this taxonomy, which segregates song texts from other forms of lyric poetry, is historically grounded. Sacchetti’s sonnet, Carducci says, confirms that “musical” poetry is a verifiable, definable category distinct from the more serious and weighty class of “non-musical” poetry.3