Francesco Petrarch

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Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374) was born in Arezzo, Italy, and the body of work he produced made his name synonymous with poetry in the eyes of the Italian Renaissance poets who followed.

Petrarch built his fame upon the epic poem Africa. In 1327 he sighted a woman called Laura in the church of Sainte-Claire d'Avignon. Based on this brief sighting Laura became Petrarch's muse and he produced an impressive body of poetic works. He was best noted for his use of the sonnet form, which he wrote in Italian, but most of his work was written in Latin.

In 1341 Petrarch was crowned as a poet laureate in Rome (the crown was in fact a wreath of laurel). He spent the subsequent years wandering throughout Italy as somewhat of a celebrity. He died in 1374 in Arqu�, and bequeathed to his friend Boccaccio a small sum of money for a new coat.


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