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Francesco Petrarca

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  1. Introduction
  2. His big break
  3. Petrarch's love
  4. His poem Sonnet 90
  5. The last line - a translation
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bibliograhy

Francesco Petrarca, more commonly known as Petrarch, was an Italian man who wrote poetry in the 14th century. He was born in Arezzo, a town in central Italy, but did not spend much time there. During his childhood, his family followed the pope in a literal fashion, moving from Arezzo to Avignon to Carpentras (Plumb 161). In fact, Francesco did not spend much time tied to any one place and is regarded by some as one of the first tourists to travel Europe (NSA 240). He also was one of the first people to use the phrase ?Dark Ages? instead of ?Middle Ages?

His father was a lawyer and because of this he wanted his sons to also be lawyers. Petrarch reluctantly studied law for seven years in the towns of Montpellier and Bologna.

[...] A celestial spirit, a living sun was what I saw: and if she is not such now, the wound's not healed, although the bow is slack. (Petrarca 113) The third stanza refers to Laura as angelic and not mortal. Whether it was a conscious decision or a subconscious act, Petrarch has continued his theme of a descent. He writes as if Laura was more than angelic, but in fact an angel who has descended from heaven to walk earth as a mortal. [...]

[...] All-in-all if the last line of the poem was changed many of these translating critics would see it as more approachable to critique. However, the last line is imperative for this translation being so great. It shows that the translator wanted something more than just a word for word translation. Yet, he didn't want to go too far outside of the word for word ideals. While some would regard the last line as a possible error on the part of the translator, I believe that it was a conscious decision made on the translators part in an attempt to put more emotion into the translation and make it feel less like a translation and more like a poem, while at the same time keeping it alien enough to show the reader that they are reading a poem. [...]

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