Robert Mueller and Petrarcan Mirrors

Petrarcan Naissance

by Robert Mueller

Here is a poem from the great sequence of poetry using the native Italian tongue, instead of being written in Latin, by Francesco Petrarca and covering much of a life lived during the 14th century. Readers will know him as Petrarch. The time he lived is important to the extent he is regarded as a proto-Renaissance-humanist and well ahead of his time. The later developments emphasizing human autonomy are already in evidence in Petrarca’s poetry, and it is intriguing how individual accomplishments may fit into the mold. The nature of what Petrarca titles the writing of fragments in and about the vernacular (rerum vulgarium fragmenta) may be understood as a writing that comes piecemeal.

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