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Opera del preclarissimo poeta miser Francesco Petrarcha

Opera del preclarissimo poeta miser Francesco Petrarcha

Francesco Petrarca (Francis Petrarch), Opera del preclarissimo poeta miser Francesco Petrarcha, Milan, Ioanne Angelo Scinzenzeler, 1512

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, RARESF 851.18 OP, fols a(x)v–b(i)r

The prolific output of the Italian poet Petrarch launched a literary fashion in Europe that lasted until the 17th century. Petrarch’s complex images and his verses of tenderness and longing revived classical ideas of the transcendent possibilities inherent in the 'divine madness' of lover and beloved.

His lifetime’s work of verses, supposedly inspired by an unattainable woman, was influenced by the troubadour songs and poetry of southern France and Islamic Spain. He lived in Provence for several years, and was known to possess a copy of the Codex Cumanicus, the first Latin–Persian–Kumani (a Turkish dialect) dictionary.