This is a translation of 60 poems from Petrarch's "Canzoniere", readable as English verse but also faithful to Petrarchan technique and structure, with a mixture of full rhyme and half-rhymes. The selection includes poetry from the first and second parts of the "Canzoniere" (known as "in vita" and "in mote") and includes samples of all the various forms - the dominant sonnnet and canzone, and also the sestina and the madrigal, as well as the love poetry. The book also contains selections from the public and political poems, including the great patriotic canzone "Italia mia" and the scathing anti-papal sonnets that appealed to Reformation England. The notes identify the major literary allusions and citations, elucidate imagery, point out links to petrarch's major prose and show the thematic repetitions and variations that combine to create the complex overall structure of the "Canzoniere", revealing the Petrarchan influence on the English Renaissance. There is Italian text on the facing page, a full critical introduction, chronology of petrarch's life, further reading, and full annotation.
Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), scholar and man of letters, is considered the father of sonnet-writing. Although the majority of his work was composed in Latin, it is his collection of poems in the vernacular entitled 'Canzoniere' for which he is most remembered. Anthony Mortimer holds the Chair of English Literature at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and has been a Visiting Fellow at Merton College, Oxford. Publications include 'Petrarch's Canzoniere in the English Renaissance'