The Canzoniere: (rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta)
Francesco Petrarca (1304-74) has been described as the 'first modern man of letters' and his influence on the European lyric tradition has been widespread. The poems of his Canzoniere, closely associated as they are with the enigmatic figure of Laura, were soon to become the models for love-poetry in nearly all major European literatures in the Renaissance. The new translations here use the same rhyme schemes and broadly the same metres as those used by Petrarch himself. The facing English texts are thus not intended to be absolutely literal, but to reflect the inner meanings and moods of the originals, with some further literal translations of difficult passages added in the notes. The notes to the poems also cover their likely dates, mythological allusions, certain background settings, and a number of other calendrical and structural features which appear to emerge from the actual sequencing of the collection itself. There is also a section on old Italian syntax. and other linguistic aids. The new translation of Petrarch's Rerum Vulgarian Fragmenta is in two separate volumes.