I Canzoniere #5 by Petrarch

Painting of Petrarch
Painting of Petrach (Francesco Petrarca, courtesy of Wikipedia.

If you want to find out more about Petrarch, there are several excellent biographies/histories on Amazon.

 

 

If you ‘d like to see/listen to other poems I’ve read by Petrarch, go here:
Petrarch on The Daily Sonnet

You can see in the text, that Petrarch refers to Laureta, the name of his idealized lover.  In future poems, he refers to her often.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Laura has traditionally been identified as Laura de Noves of Avignon (now in France), a married woman and a mother; but since Petrarch gives no clues as to who she was, several other Lauras have also been suggested, and some critics believe there was no actual Laura at all. Petrarch was supposed to have seen Laura for the first time in St. Claire Church in Avignon on April 6, 1327. In his poetry she appears to give him little encouragement, but his love for her became a lifelong obsession, even after her death on April 6, 1348.”

Here is Sonnet #5 by Petrarch, translated by A.S. Kline

Purchase the book on Amazon.com

When I utter sighs, in calling out to you,
with the name that Love wrote on my heart,
the sound of its first sweet accents begin
to be heard within the word LAUdable.

Your REgal state, that I next encounter,
doubles my power for the high attempt;
but: ‘TAcit’, the ending cries, ‘since to do her honour
is for other men’s shoulders, not for yours’.

So, whenever one calls out to you,
the voice itself teaches us to LAud, REvere,
you, O, lady worthy of all reverence and honour:

except perhaps that Apollo is disdainful
that morTAl tongue can be so presumptuous
as to speak of his eternally green branches.

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