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Petrarch's Love Sonnets

Francesco Petrarca is usually credited with having introduced lyric poetry in Europe. His collection of Italian verses, Rime in vita e morta di Madonna Laura (after 1327), translated into English as Petrarch's Sonnets, are said to be inspired by Petrarch's passion for Laura (probably Laure de Noves), a young woman Petrarca first saw in church.

Petrarca is considered the first modern poet because of his interest in individuality, reflected in his sonnet series.

Petrarca wrote 365 sonnets, many of them dedicated to Laura. The exact relationship of Petrarca to the historical Laura remains almost as mysterious as Shakespeare's relation to the "Dark Lady" of his sonnet series.

For a contemporary collection of sonnets, see Stephen Denning, Sonnets 2000(iUniverse, October 2000)


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