Francesco Petrarca - Trionfi Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) was born in Arezzo (Toscana) in 1304; he was a writer, lyrical and poet. He lived his youth in Provence and began to study laws in Montpellier in the autumn of 1316; after that he continued studying in the University of Bologna and began to show his great love to the literature; but in 1320, his father threw Petrarch’s books to the fire because he considered it as a waste of time.

When Petrarch’s father died, he returned to Florence and made minor ecclesiastical votes. He lived in Vaucluse, a place with the mightiest source of France, between 1337 and 1353. He has two children, Giovanni and Francesca; his son died young but his daughter gave him many grandchildren. He was found dead on a book, which he was studying, in Arquà in 1374. Here we have a fragment of Trionfi that was one of his most important works.

Poems in Italian


Trionfo della Morte
Capitolo I
Quella leggiadra e glorïosa donna,
ch’è oggi ignudo spirto e poca terra
e fu già di valor alta colonna,
tornava con onor da la sua guerra,
5allegra, avendo vinto il gran nemico,

che con suo’ ingegni tutto ’l mondo atterra,
non con altr’arme che col cor pudico
e d’un bel viso e de’ pensieri schivi,
d’un parlar saggio e d’onestate amico.
10Era miracol novo a veder ivi

rotte l’arme d’Amore, arco e saette,
e tal morti da lui, tal presi e vivi.
La bella donna e le compagne elette,
tornando da la nobile vittoria,
15in un bel drappelletto ivan ristrette.

Francesco Petrarca


Triumph of Death
Chapter I

That glorious and graceful woman,
spirit who is now naked and little land
and was already high-value column,
returned from his war with honor,
5allegra, having won the great enemy,

that with its 'all talents' the world's lands,
not with other arms that with the current modest
and of a beautiful face and of 'timid thoughts,
speak of a wise and honest friend of.
10er novo miracle to see there

broken the arms of love, bow and arrows,
and that he died, I took this and live.
The beautiful woman and her companions elected,
returning from the noble victory,
15in a good troop ivan restricted.

Francesco Petrarca