Francesco Petrarch


Biography of Francesco Petrarch

Francesco Petrarcha was born in Arezzo of a family exiled from Florence in 1301. His father was a notary. He studied at Montpellier University and at law school, and became chaplain to Cardinal Colonna. He travelled in France, Flanders and Germany. He met his idealized woman, Laura, in 1327. She died of the Black Death in 1348. His series of love sonnets and other poems strongly influenced subsequent European poetry, for example Wyatt and Sidney in England. He settled at Vaucluse near Avignon, but, after the plague of 1362, moved to Padua and then Arqua, in the Euganean Hills, where he died, in July 1374, on or near his birthday, at the age of seventy.

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From 'Visions'

Being one day at my window all alone,
So manie strange things happened me to see,
As much as it grieveth me to thinke thereon.
At my right hand a hynde appear'd to mee,
So faire as mote the greatest god delite;
Two eager dogs did her pursue in chace.
Of which the one was blacke, the other white:
With deadly force so in their cruell race

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