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Petrarch as a poet of Provence.

Petrarch was a poet of Provence because he spent much of his life there, even though he used Italian instead of Occitan. His Italian genres are similar to those of the troubadours, and he also practiced their genres. Themes such as love from afar and love from on high provide a setting for his love. By raising vernacular poetry to the heights of prestige, Petrarch represents the culmination of troubadour art.


We sometimes forget that the lordship of Provence, but not Provence itself, fell to the king of France as late as 1486, and that the county proper was not annexed to France until 1789; that Avignon, with the Comtat Venaissin, belonged to the Church from 1348 until 1791; and that Nice belonged to Savoy, then Piedmont until 1860. On the other hand, Italy was not unified until the culmination of the Risorgimento in 1870. In Petrarch's time, therefore, he cannot have considered Vaucluse, his beloved retreat in Provence, as part of a unified France in contrast to a unified Italy, as we think of these two countries today. Actually, in his time Provence belonged to the Angevin kings of Naples, Robert (ruled 1309-1343) and his granddaughter Joan I (ruled 1343-1382). When we think about Petrarch's feelings for Provence and Italy we must try to avoid imposing anachronistic identifications on the land.

That Provence and Italy were distinct for Petrarch there is no doubt, since he makes clear that for him, as throughout history, Italy was bounded by the Alps. (1) There was no doubt, when Clement V moved the papal court to Avignon, that he had displaced it from its seat in Rome. Similarly there had been no doubt, when Petrarch's father was banished from Florence, that he became an exile from the city of his birth, though not from Italy. Petrarch himself was twice displaced, from the Florence of his ancestors, and, when his father followed the papal court to Provence, from the land of his Italian speech. Though he did not set foot in Florence until the age of forty-six (2) and never lived there, he would return to Northern Italy in his middle years, thus closing the period of his extended residence in Provence by returning to his patria, as he called Italy in Rime 128, his "madre benigna et pia" (vv. 84-85).

And yet Petrarch's residence as a grown man in Provence included, as Wilkins put it (Life 128), the first half of his adult life, from his move to Avignon in 1326 and to Vaucluse in 1337 until he finally returned to live in Italy in 1353, never to see Provence again. (3) During those years he completed the first version of the Rime, which would continue to occupy him until his death. He lived in Avignon from about the age of twenty-two onward, and in Vaucluse starting about age thirty-three, until he left for Milan at age forty-eight. But he had come to Provence first as a child of eight, when his family moved to Carpentras; he lived there until he went to study in Montpellier from age twelve to sixteen. Wilkins expresses the reasonable assumption that he must have learned to speak Provencal (Life 3).

He called both Italy and Provence "bel paese" (Italy, Rime 146, v. 13; Provence, Rime 61, v. 3; 177, v. 12). Once, however, in his lover's anguish, he called Vaucluse "solo al mondo paese almo, felice," since Laura was there (Rime 226, v. 12). Although Vaucluse represented for him a place of exile from Italy, or more specifically from Florence, nevertheless he could rejoice upon returning from Tuscany to Provence (Rime 194). He used exilio in the Canzoniere in reference to his love, not to politics, meaning his absence from Laura (e.g. Rime 37, v. 37; 80, v. 32; 130, v. 13; 331, v. 5)--that is, from Provence, sometimes compounded by absence from Heaven, in the exile that is earthly life (Rime 285, v. 5). Seen in relation to Avignon and the papal court that he abominated, Vaucluse provided him a refuge (Rime 114). At times he wrote of Vaucluse and Provence as though they were his home, the "dolce soggiorno" of his soul (Rime 180, v. 14), because there he would find his lume, his light, his Laura (Rime 177, vv. 12-14).

In a Latin poem he expressed the desire to live in Vaucluse and die there, following Laura:
 Valle locus Clausa tot michi nullus in orbe
 gratior aut studiis aptior ora meis.
 Valle puer Clausa fueram iuvenemque reversum
 fovit in aprico vallis amena sinu.
 Valle vir in Clausa meliores dulciter annos
 exegi et vite candida fila mee.
 Valle senex Clausa supremum ducere tempus
 et Clausa cupio, te duce, Valle mori. (4)

In an uncollected epistola metrica he expressed again the hope to spend the rest of his life in Vaucluse and to make it his patria: "Hic patriae tellus [...]." (5) In his copy of Pliny he sketched the place and identified it as "Transalpina solitudo mea iocundissima." (6) The adjective transalpina implies that he considered Vaucluse from the Italian point of view, but the rest of the phrase expresses an emotional centering in Provence. He was a restless spirit.

For these reasons I think it not implausible to consider Petrarch as a poet of Provence. With all his ardent Italian patriotism he wrote a great deal of poetry in Vaucluse, and held that place dear. Of course he contributed mightily, after the Sicilians and the poets of the dolce stil nuovo, to the development of Italian poetry. But if Provence was like the poetic sunrise of Italy, as Scarano wrote (176), suspending geographical orientation in the interest of literary history, then by the same logic Italy may be seen as the poetic sunset of Provence. I intend no slight toward Petrarch as a great Italian poet, or toward those who see him in that light. But as a student of Occitan myself, I propose to consider Petrarch as though he were the last troubadour. (7)


An apparent obstacle is language. This obstacle would be decisive if we considered that Provencal was the language and the only language of Provence, while considering Italian the language and the only language of Italy. But such a view would be simplistic. Prima facie, while in Provence Petrarch wrote and must have spoken a great deal of Italian. He was a member of a sizable community of Italians who, like his father, accompanied the transfer of the papal court to Avignon. Other languages that were also heard in Provence included French, since the time of the Albigensian Crusade if not before; (8) Spanish, as witnessed in the Chanson de la Croisade Albigeoise (1: vii-xi) written by Guilhem de Tudela, from Navarre; and Hebrew, spoken in Jewish communities present in the Midi since the fall of the Roman Empire (Paden, "Troubadours and Jews"). Arabic must have been heard in Marseille, since Muslims were allowed to serve there as witnesses in court (Pryor 59n128); in Maguelonne the bishop "allowed money to be minted with an Arab inscription on it," and an abbot of Saint-Martial, in Limoges, owned Saracen slaves (Paterson, World 137, 161). (9) The Earl of Orkney, Rognvald Kali Kolsson, who died in 1158, passed through Narbonne while on pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Orkneyinga Saga 164-72). While there he was urged by the Narbonnais to marry their young Countess, Ermengard. He did not do so, but celebrated her beauty in Old Norse stanzas, as too did his followers, the skaldic poets Armod and Oddi the Little. (10) The range of vernaculars used in Occitania was crowned, of course, by Latin, the predominant language of the church, the university, and law, heard frequently by Petrarch the ecclesiastic, the student, and the son, grandson, and great-grandson of notaries.

The polyglot extensions of troubadour culture were expressed in songs written in several languages. The Provencal Raimbaut de Vaqueiras expressed the confusion of the tormented lover in a descort with successive stanzas in Occitan, Italian, French, Gascon, and Galician-Portuguese (Riquer, Trovadores 2: 840-42). In another poem Raimbaut offered a dialogue between a Provencal lover and a Genoese woman who speaks in Genoese dialect (Riquer, Trovadores 2: 816-19). Bonfaci Calvo, the troubadour from Genoa, combined Occitan, Galician, and French in a sirventes (Riquer, Trovadores 3: 1422-23).

Poets criscrossed the Midi en route between Italy, Spain, and northern France (Paden, "The Troubadours and the Albigensian Crusade" 171-73). Among Italians who travelled to or through Provence we may cite Guido Cavalcanti, who loved a lady of Toulouse and celebrated her in Italian (Contini, Poeti 2: 531-33). (11) A number of troubadours from Italy left poetry in Provencal, and some in both languages. (12) Sordello of Mantua (in Occitan, Sordel), active from about 1220 until his death in 1269, left a body of poetry in Occitan and was perhaps the author of "un sirventes lonbardo, / qe del proenzalesco / no m'acresco." (13) Percivalle Doria, whose career as podesta of Asti, Arles, Avignon, Parma, and Pavia between 1228 and 1243 illustrates the continuity between Italy and Provence, was the author of two canzoni in Italian and, in Occitan, a sirventes and a cobla. (14) Paolo Lanfranchi of Pistoia, active in the 1280s and 1290s, left seven sonnets in Italian and one in Occitan. (15) At about the same time Dante da Maiano, near Florence, wrote sonnets, ballate, and canzoni in Italian, and two sonnets in Occitan. (16)

Unlike Dante Alighieri, who must have composed the Occitan verses spoken by the shade of Arnaut Daniel in Purgatorio (26, vv. 140-48), Petrarch did not compose in Provencal. He quotes the first line of a song that he attributes to Arnaut Daniel as the first in a series of authorities for Rime 70. (17) The other authorities he cites are Italian: Guido Cavalcanti, Dante, Cino da Pistoia, and Petrarch himself. The series implies that Petrarch felt a direct lineage from Arnaut. Similarly, in Triumphus Cupidinis IV, vv. 38-39, he cites "un drappello / di portamenti e di volgari strani," (18) including more than a dozen troubadours among his poetic ancestors. He must have considered the troubadours in general as belonging to nostra etade, not the prim'anni (Rime 30, v. 20). (19) If we read Rime 40 as referring to the composition of the Canzoniere, throughout which, as he says, he couples "l'un coll'altro vero" (v. 4)--that is, the truths of belta and cielo, desire and salvation, to which I shall return below--, then the "stil de' moderni" (v. 6) refers to the style of Petrarch himself as well as his predecessors, including Arnaut Daniel according to Rime 70. (20) Petrarch did not see himself as living in a Renaissance in contrast with a Middle Age that included the troubadours; he considered his own age and theirs a time of darkness, though he hoped for a future rebirth (Mommsen 239-41). In his eyes the age of the troubadours was continuous with his own.

Petrarch was keenly aware of the difference between Latin and the vernacular, as in the title of the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta and in Rime 166, when he concedes that he is no Florentine poet, not because he was not Florentine (which he was, by descent), but because he was not a poeta, that is, a lyric poet in Latin. But he does not express with similar clarity any consciousness of the difference between two vernaculars, Italian and Provencal. (21) Perhaps he implies such awareness when he depicts himself walking along the banks of the Sorgue and crying for pity "con estrania voce" (Rime 23, v. 63), if we may translate "with foreign speech," referring to Italian as a foreign language in Vaucluse. (22) A parallel may be found in Rime 323, when he describes himself as "una strania fenice" (v. 49) at the fountain of Vaucluse, which I would render as "a phoenix from another land." This reading takes estrania in the same sense that the word has in Triumphus Cupidinis IV, vv. 39, 42, where "volgari strani" and "dir strano" refer to Occitan as a foreign language in the Italian context.

Elsewhere Petrarch alludes directly to the language of Arnaut Daniel, but does so in Italian. (23) It is as though, for Petrarch, the Italian language were capable of representing Provencal by a conventional understanding between poet and reader; he gives us Arnaut, as it were, in subtitles. The same effect of translation occurs when he renders Vaucluse as valle chiusa (Rime 116, v. 9), valli chiuse (303, v. 6) or chiusa valle (Rime 135, v. 93), or etymologizes it by explaining that it is a valley enclosed (Rime 117, v. 1). For Petrarch the Provencal land spoke Italian, or rather, he could represent in Italian what he and his readers knew to be Provencal. And what of Laura's language, the si dolce ydioma of Rime 360 (v. 101)? (24) Laura often speaks to Petrarch in the Rime, or rather Laura herself speaks less often and her shade more often, but always, of course, in Italian. (25) If Petrarch really met Laura in the church of Saint Clare of Assisi, in Avignon, and if she was born near Vaucluse, (26) was she a member of the Italophone community like Petrarch, or did she speak Occitan, as Guido Cavalcanti's beauty of Toulouse may have done? If he did not really meet her, on the other hand, but she was a figment of his poetic imagination, what language did he imagine she spoke? When she sang, or when he imagined she sang, did she sing in Provencal? (27)

I have argued that the linguistic division that separates Petrarch from the troubadours is less stark and impenetrable than we may sometimes feel. Although Petrarch was not literally a troubadour, if by that term we mean an Occitan poet, I propose to consider him as though he were one. By seeing him as a Provencal poet in the Italian language, we can understand better, I believe, the international dimension of the national literature to which he contributed so powerfully (Schoning).


For one conversant with the poetry of the troubadours, Petrarch's versification seems familiar in many of its particulars. (28) The Italian genres are metrical. Petrarch's sestinas match the defining traits of the metrical form created by Arnaut Daniel: the rhyme scheme ABCDEF, the use of rhyme-words, and the permutation, called retrogradatio cruciata in medieval Latin tradition (Alighieri, De vulgari eloquentia 245), that leads each rhyme-word artfully through all six positions in six stanzas. In Arnaut's sestina and the two Occitan imitations, by Bertolome Zorzi and (perhaps) Guilhem de Saint-Gregori, (29) the first line counts seven syllables feminine (7'), the rest ten syllables feminine (10'). The longer of these two lines corresponds to the Italian endecasillabo, the only line employed by Petrarch in his nine sestinas. The fact that he used just one line, and not two, is not contrary to Occitan practice in general, since the troubadours experimented constantly with stanzaic form. (The fourth Occitan sestina, by Pons Fabre d'Uzes, who is undatable but probably late, has uniform lines of eight syllables masculine.) (30) He did depart, however, following the example of Dante, in his double sestina, the only one in morte di madonna Laura (Rime 332). (31)

The canzoni, too, are formally very similar to Occitan precedent in the canso, although certain emphases shift. Most of Petrarch's canzoni are in coblas singulars (twenty-seven of them); only one is in coblas unissonans (Rime 29), and only one is in coblas doblas (Rime 206). This heavy preference for coblas singulars is Italian rather than Occitan. (32) It matches another innovative trait: in the canzoni in coblas singulars the rhymes of the congedo are new, not repeated from the preceding stanza as in the Occitan tornada, whereas the canzoni in coblas unissonans and coblas doblas do repeat the preceding rhymes in the congedo. So these two poems, Rime 29 and 206, are marked for adherence to Occitan practice in contrast with the others (which nevertheless do continue Occitan structures except for the rhymes in the congedo). (33) Indeed, the fact that Petrarch used the congedo at all represents a return to troubadour practice (with the stilnovisti) after the Sicilians, who avoided it. Petrarch's stanzas tend to be longer than those of many troubadours, and his rhyme schemes correspondingly more elaborate, but troubadour practice evolved in the direction of longer stanzas, (34) leading in the same direction Petrarch continued. Occitan techniques for linking stanzas occur occasionally in Petrarch: the use of coblas capcaudadas is systematic in Rime 105, as is the use of coblas capdenals in 206 and 366; both of these devices, and coblas capfinidas also, occur sporadically in other poems (Zenari 292-94). The strongest apparent contrast concerns line lengths, since Petrarch used only two, the settenario and the endecasillabo, whereas in Occitan many lengths occur. The contrast may be more apparent than real, however, since Petrarch also employs systematic interior rhymes (rimalmezzo). Istvan Frank made an editorial decision in drawing up his Repertoire metrique to consider any systematic rhyme as the end of a line, and thereby eliminated the possibility of systematic interior rhymes, so the variety of line lengths in the troubadours need not be considered as great as may appear to one who consults his Repertoire. Indeed, some editors combine Frank's short lines into longer ones with internal rhyme. (35) In any case the settenario and endecasillabo, in the French notation lines of six sylllables feminine and ten syllables feminine, were widely used in Occitan, especially the latter. (36)

If the canzoni and the sestinas are the most august forms among the Rime, they are also the most conservative in comparison to the troubadours, and they likely owe their air of dignity in part to the sense that they continue revered tradition. The sonnets represent something new. As seen in the perspective of the troubadours, however, the sonetto continues the cobla. (37) This genre developed late in troubadour practice, about 1190, but then grew rapidly in favor (Leube; Poe; Rieger). Although the cobla, like most troubadour forms, was variable in length and rhyme scheme, it was short and frequently involved in poetic exchange, two features it shares with the sonnet. Poetic exchange in Occitan frequently involved imitation of form, or contrafacture, as also in Petrarch when he occasionally imitates the rhymes as well as the form of his correspondent, or his correspondent imitates his rhymes. (38) Compared to the Occitan canso, the cobla was less august and more ordinary (Poe), as is the Petrarchan sonnet compared to the canzone. The word sonetto is apparently an adaptation of the Occitan word sonet, 'sound; tune, melody; song, poem,' dimutive of son 'sound, noise; melody; song.' (39)

But Occitan son, sonet never became the name of a genre or a metrical form, as sonetto did. Indeed, it is the generic status of the sonetto rather than its particular form that distinguishes it most sharply from its Occitan precedents. Stanzas of fourteen lines, whatever their rhyme scheme, do occur in Occitan (Antonelli 69n56). The earliest octet in the Sicilian form (ababababab) was written in the Italian language by the troubadour Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (Antonelli 66). Lanfranc Cigala left a sirventes of two stanzas, eleven lines long apiece, with a tornada of three lines; the rhyme scheme is such that the second stanza and tornada correspond exactly (providing we ignore the first stanza) to the form of a sonnet by Giacomo da Lentini (Antonelli 67). But by repeating the form of the sonnet in twenty-odd poems, and by inspiring later poets to adopt this form, Giacomo became the originator of a tradition that produced a genre of a kind unknown to the troubadours. It is as though contrafacture, by shifting into a new, more intense mode, had morphed into institutional repetition of fixed form. Since the rhyme scheme of the sestet varied in Giacomo and that of the octet varied from Giacomo to Petrarch, the sonnet was restricted in this regard but not fixed. It was fixed in length, however, to fourteen lines. By virtue of its fixed length it was different from the so-called "formes fixes" of Middle French, all of which varied in length, while remaining coiled around their refrain (Paden, "Christine"). The sonnet may be legitimately considered as an extrapolation from evolving Occitan metrical practices onto a new generic status.

The dance songs in Petrarch, the ballata and the madrigale, resemble dance songs in Occitan, although we assume that those in Occitan were performed musically, and perhaps actually danced, whereas those by Petrarch may not have been, after the supposed "divorce" between poetry and music. (40) In neither language are musical forms frequent; the Rime include just seven ballate and four madrigali, less than 3% of the poems in the canzoniere, while the Occitan dansa, balada, and estampida, according to I. Frank, account for less than 2% of known troubadour compositions. (41) The ballata resembles the Occitan balada and dansa, which are difficult to distinguish precisely. (42) The ripresa with which the ballata begins corresponds to the Occitan respos: the ripresa or respos comes first, and sets the rhyme or rhymes for the last one or more lines in the stanza. The madrigale, two or three tercets usually followed by one or two couplets, corresponds to no form of general application in Occitan. (43)

As seen from the perspective of the troubadours, then, Petrarch's metrical practices are mostly familiar. In certain cases they seem to represent extrapolations from troubadour usage: the double sestina, the longer stanzas in the canzone, and most boldly, the development from contrafacture to fixed form in the sonnet. The ballata resembles the balada; the madrigale looks, in the perspective of the troubadours, like an experiment in miniaturization of the sonnet, itself a miniature canzone.


The Occitan genres focus on themes. We may distinguish in terms of frequency between major, minor, and marginal genres in troubadour practice (Paden, "System"). There are three major ones: the canso or love song, with about a thousand examples; the sirventes or satire, with somewhat more than five hundred, typically in the same metrical form as a canso taken as the model for contrafacture; and the cobla, with somewhat less than five hundred. The canso continues in the canzoni on love, and the cobla continues in the sonnet, as I have said. A thematic variant of the canso in which the troubadour declares he will leave his lady for a new love has sometimes been called the chanson de change (Kohler 167-76; Winter-Hosman). Despite Petrarch's dominant note of obsessive constancy to Laura, the theme echoes in Rime such as 54, 89, 121, and 271.

The sirventes continues in canzoni and sonnets on political and moral subjects. Petrarch advises a Roman senator that the city's hopes lie in him (Rime 53, a canzone), much as Bertran de Born advised kings and princes (Bertran de Born, Poems; Leglu). He counsels Stefano Colonna to remain prudent in victory (103, a sonnet). Two poems on the crusade of 1333, a canzone (28) and a sonnet (27), recall the crusade-song, a subtype of the sirventes (Riquer, Trovadores 1: 53-58). The eloquent canzone 128 is a sirventes for peace in which Petrarch accepts Bertran de Born's abhorrence of mercenaries for his own reasons, very different from Bertran's, and concludes with a moving appeal, contradicting Bertran's desire for war, with his call for "Pace, pace, pace." The three sirventes-canzoni (Rime 28, 53, 128) are all written in rhyme schems unique within the canzoniere, so they show the opposite of contrafacture (Zenari, canzoni 21, 1; 22, 1; 23, 1). These scattered political poems mark a contrast with the poetry of the Sicilians and the stil nuovo, both of which reduced the thematic range of the troubadours by avoiding the sirventes in favor of love alone. They show that Petrarch reverted to his Provencal models, as he did in using the congedo. By considering them in the historical context of the troubadour sirventes we account for them easily and naturally. (44)

Among the Occitan genres that are minor in terms of their numbers, several recur in Petrarch. The planh, or funeral lament, is such a natural phenomenon that it may seem pre-generic, but nevertheless it is a genre in Occitan, and we find it in Petrarch's sonnets 91 on the death of his brother's lady, 92 on Cino da Pistoia, 269 on Giovanni Colonna, and 287 on Sennuccio del Bene. He laments for Laura in sonnet 267 as well as in canzone 268, identified in the text as a pianto (v. 80). Among the troubadours, the lament for the death of a lady is a recognized subtype of the planh (Aston). Rime 120, in which Petrarch contradicts a rumor of his own death, could be considered an anti-planh.

Another form that may seem only natural is the dialogue, but it too was institutionalized in Occitan and continued by Petrarch. Sonnet 222 is pure dialogue (with no narrative) between the narrator, that is Petrarch, and ladies who are friends of Laura; canzone 359 is a dialogue with Laura in a dream. Sonnets of allegorical dialogue include Rime 84, between the poet and his eyes, and 150, between the poet and his soul. Canzone 360 is a debate between Petrarch and Amor before Reason, who is appointed as judge but defers judgment. The position of Reason is like that of arbiters in the partimen (Jeanroy, Poesie 2: 270-71). In sonnet 242 the poet addresses his heart. Another sonnet, Rime 98, in which the horse belonging to Orso dell'Anguillara speaks, is not a tenso but recalls two fictive tensos by Bertran Carbonel (Poesies, nos. 13, 14) in which he debates with his horse.

The pastorela was cultivated by troubadours early and late, from Marcabru to Guiraut Riquier, as well as by poets in many other languages, especially French (Paden, Medieval Pastourelle). It may be recognized in all four of Petrarch's madrigali, 52 (which is a miniaturization, or abbreviation, of the same anecdote imagined again in Rime 126), 54, 106, and 121. All four, like the pastorela, retell an amorous encounter between a young woman in a country setting and a man who is the narrator. One uses the key term pastorella (52, v. 4) to describe the girl (Paden, "Aesthetic Distance"). In the others she is called a pellegrina (54, v. 2), an angeletta (106, v. 1), or a giovenetta donna (121, v. 1). Variety in the identification of the girl characterizes the pastorela too. (45) All Petrarch's madrigali resonate with the chanson de change.

The alba, or poem depicting the parting of lovers at dawn, is characterized in Occitan by the defining use of the word alba as a rhyme word. In Rime 22, a sestina in form, Petrarch uses alba as one of six rhyme words. Petrarch expresses the wish to spend the night with his lady:
 Con lei foss'io da che si parte il sole,
 et non ci vedess'altri che le stelle,
 sol una nocte, et mai non fosse l'alba; [...]

(22, vv. 31-33)

The lover's wish that the dawn never come recurs, for example, in an alba attributed uncertainly to Gaucelm Faidit:
 "Doussa res, s'esser podia
 que ja mais alba ni dia
 no fos, grans merces seria. [...]" (46)

The alba situation also echoes in Rime 33, when Petrarch dreams of Laura at dawn, "the hour that traditionally calls lovers to weep" ("quella stagione / che per usanza a lagrimar gli appella" vv. 7-8). It echoes again in Rime 291, when he says he envies Tithonus, the aged lover of Aurora, because even though she leaves him every morning she returns to him every evening, whereas Laura, in heaven, will never again return to Petrarch. In Rime 255 Petrarch describes himself as the opposite to a lover in the alba, since that lover yearns for evening and hates the dawn, but Petrarch suffers because he does not see Laura in the evening, but often does see her in the morning. (47) Another version of an anti-alba occurs in canzone 50, where Petrarch laments again that evening brings him grief. When he addresses the poem in the congedo, saying that it has been with him "dal matino a la sera," one may, if one wishes, hear an echo of the Occitan genre of the serena, a variant form practiced by Guiraut Riquier, an evening-song opposite to the alba (Riquer, Trovadores 3: 1613-14).

The serena, with only one example, is one of the marginal genres in Occitan. Another genre of very low frequency, and rather difficult to delimit, is the devinalh, or puzzle, most clearly exemplified by the nonsense-song ("Farai un vers de dreyt nien") by Guilhem IX, the first troubadour (Uhl). There are similarities with the frottola, or "tall tale," Rime 105, in which the narrator both ceases and continues to love:
 Benedetta la chiave che s'avvolse
 al cor [...].
 La dove piu mi dolse, altri si dole,
 et dolendo adolcisse il mio dolore:
 ondi'io ringratio Amore
 che piu nol sento, et e non men che suole.

(Rime 105, 53-54; 57-60)

Compare Guilhem:
 Amigu'ai ieu, non sai qui s'es [....]
 Anc no la vi et am la fort;
 anc no n'aic dreit no no.m fes tort;
 quan non la vei, be m'en deport.

(vv. 25; 31-33) (48)

Guilhem, too, refers to a "contraclau" (v. 48), like the Petrarchan "chiave," that may explain the paradoxes of the poem.

More specific and extensive is the relationship between Rime 206, beginning "S'i' 'l dissi mai," and the escondich, or poem of excuses, by Bertran de Born (Poems 142-49). Petrarch's poem is written in coblas doblas with rotating rhymes (coblas unissonans according to Zenari, canzone 2), Bertran's in coblas unissonans; both repeat the rhymes of the last full stanza in the congedo or tornada. (49) The genre was defined in the Leys d'amors but is found in only this one Occitan example. (50) Bertran swears a string of oaths to assure his lady that he has said nothing to offend her, as nasty gossips have said. If it is true, he wishes upon himself a series of disasters that reveal his aristocratic, sporting, playful character: in hawking may he lose his bird; in making love (with the offended lady? with someone else?) may he prove impotent; in gambling may he roll the worst throw of the dice; and so on. Petrarch wishes upon himself very different disasters: may his lady hate him and persecute him, may Love wound him but not her, and so on. The parallel situations and contrasting solutions draw a sharp contrast between the two poets.

We may, then, call Rime 206 an anti-escondich. The strategy is the same in Rime 255, the anti-alba discussed above; perhaps in Rime 120, the anti-planh; and most of all in Rime 128, the anti-sirventes, in which Petrarch calls for "Pace, pace, pace." Petrarch posits these troubadour genres in order to define his own voice in contrast with theirs. Reversal of generic expectations is a second strategy in Petrarch's response to the troubadours, after the extrapolations that we have already noted. These extrapolations and reversals imply Petrarch's reliance on troubadour discourse as an implicit, informing contrast to his own poetic. The meaning of his art depended in part on continuity, extrapolation, and reversal in relation to theirs.


A number of scholars have treated the theme, almost a critical sub-genre, of the troubadours and Petrarch; some have seemed eager to believe that parallels between them represent real contacts or continuities, while others have been more reluctant. (51) The persuasiveness of the parallels depends in part on how willing or unwilling the reader is to accept the Occitan context as an informing element in Petrarch's poetry. I shall mention three interrelated resemblances that seem to me particularly suggestive.

Near the beginning of the known troubadour tradition, Jaufre Rudel sang his amor de lonh, "love from afar," in reaction against the carnality of Guilhem IX of Aquitaine and the misogyny of Marcabru. In his most famous poem, "Lanqan li jorn son lonc en mai" ("When days are long in May"), he builds to a climactic declaration:
 Ver ditz qui m'apella lechai
 ni desiron d'amor de loing,
 car nuills autre jois tant no.m plai
 cum gauzimens d'amor de loing. (53)

Jaufre pointed the way toward the fin'amor that would become the theme of many troubadours, and of Petrarch after them:
 Novo piacer che negli umani ingegni
 spesse volte si trova,
 d'amar qual cosa nova
 piu folta schiera di sospiri accoglia!
 Et io son un di quei che 'l pianger giova;
 et par ben ch'io m'ingegni
 che di lagrime pregni
 sien gli occhi miei si come 'l cor di doglia.

(Rime 37, vv. 65-72)

This strange pleasure, this novo piacer that gives the lover pleasure in his tears, is very like Jaufre's paradoxical preference for love at a distance. (54)

Bernart de Ventadorn begins what may be the best-known troubadour poem with the image of the lark:
 Qan vei la lauzeta mover
 de joi sas alas contra.l rai,
 que s'oblid' laissa cazer
 per la doussor c'al cor li vai,
 ai! Tant grans enveia m'en ve
 de cui que veia jauzion,
 meravillas ai car desse
 lo cors de desirier no.m fon. (55)

The image may be taken as a canonical version of troubadour desire, in which the poet envies the lark for its joy in the warmth or sweetness (doussor) of the sun and the ecstasy with which it plunges into free fall, but remains unscathed. The doussor comes into the heart of the lark from the rai, the ray, in which he flies; the source of the ray, the sun, is clear but remains implicit. In the analogy to the lover's situation, the ray would be emitted by his beloved if only she loved him. This key image recurs, for example, in Rime 9, an occasional sonnet in which Petrarch rewrites the traditional troubadour spring-setting in announcing a gift of fruit. As the sun produces springtime and spring fruits, so the lady
 [...] ch'e tra le donne un sole,
 in me movendo de' begli occhi i rai
 cria d'amor penseri, atti et parole;
 ma come ch'ella gli governi o volga,
 primavera per me non e mai.

(Rime 9, 10-14)

In comparison with Bernart's image, Petrarch resembles both the bird that enjoys the rai of the sun/lady and the lover who does not, for whom, paradoxically, springtime is not May (reading v. 14 as a pun). Elsewhere he says he is dazzled by his lady's "amorosi rai" (107, v. 5). The form rai is an Occitanism used in earlier Italian poetry, in contrast with normal Italian raggio (Vitale 108-09). Petrarch also uses the latter form in the same way, seeking Laura's "fugitivo raggio" (23, v. 112), her "vivo raggio" (227, v. 12). In a sacred mood he urges himself toward heaven, following her "divo raggio" (204, v. 14).

If we consider this stanza by Bernart as a likely influence on Petrarch, we realize that his lauzeta bears a suggestive resemblance to Laura, particularly in the variant form Laureta of the acrostich-poem (Rime 5). We may think again of Bernart's lark when Petrarch likens himself to "l'uccel che piu per l'aere poggia, / alzando lei che ne' miei detti honoro" (23, vv. 165-66). (56) Bernart's song leaves the image of the lark to develop others, but concludes the last stanza with a related image of the poet's fall and the lady's inaccessible height:
 Cazutz sui e mala merce,
 et ai ben faich co.l fols e.l pon;
 e non sai peer que m'esdeve,
 mas car pojei trop contr'amon. (57)

If Bernart climbed too high (that is, if he hoped for too much), as the lark climbed in the warmth of the sun's ray, so Petrarch will lament that Laura was too much for him to hope for: "Ma tropp'era alta al mio peso terrestre" (Rime 335, v. 9).

The image of the rai and the bird flying up toward its source relates to another term and image, the air, or breeze, in which the lark flies. This association occurs in one of the poems already mentioned for its use of "vivo raggio," Rime 227, in which Petrarch addresses the breeze, the aura, that plays with his lady's hair, saying that at times he feels close to her but at others far away, "or m'accorgo / ch'i' ne son lunge" (227, vv. 9-10), recalling once more Jaufre's amor de lonh. "Aer felice," he says, "col bel vivo raggio / rimanti" (vv. 12-13). This aer or aura close to the lady suggests another motif, that of the breeze that blows from the lady's land, and another touchstone, a poem by Peire Vidal that defines Provence as the land of his beloved. His love and her land have nurtured him, he writes, and he defines Provence geographically as lying between the Rhone to the west and Vence to the east, the sea to the south and the Durance to the north:
 Ab l'alen tir vas me l'aire
 qu'ieu sen venir de Proensa;
 tot quant es de lai m'agensa,
 si que quan n'aug ben retraire
 ieu m'o escout en rizen,
 e.n deman per un mot cen;
 tan m'es bel quan n'aug ben dire. (58)

Peire's affection for the land anticipates the affection that Petrarch would express for Vaucluse, and, according to this poem, flowed from a similar confluence with love of his lady. Peire's reference to l'aire coming from Provence suggests Petrarch's aer and his aura, indeed his Laura of Provence. (59) In Rime 194 Petrarch says, very similarly, that he recognizes "l'aura gentil," which of course represents Laura, but also the breeze from Provence; he seeks his sun (Laura again, but also the sun of Provence), and asks for wings to fly there, suggesting that he would be like Bernart's lauzeta in the warmth of the ray; this light, he says, threatens to kill him, "che da lunge mi struggo et da presso ardo" (v. 14), recalling, albeit indirectly, Jaufre's love from afar.

Jaufre Rudel, Bernart de Ventadorn, and Peire Vidal are all mentioned among the drappello of Petrarch's poetic forebears in Triumphus Cupidinis IV (vv. 44, 52, 55). The interrelated motifs of love at a distance, love from on high, and the perfumed breeze from far away provide a rich culture within which Petrarch lived and wrote as a poet of Provence.


Continuity, extrapolation, and reversal do not account for Petrarch's whole relation to the troubadours, or even what I consider its most important aspect. Seen as a poet of Provence, he marks a culmination of the history of troubadour poetry. In order to see his work in this light we must first consider how troubadour poetry changed.

The very idea that it changed at all is controversial, since a tradition of long standing and continuing presence describes the troubadours as more or less all the same. I have argued, however, that this view, even though expressed by the pioneer Friedrich Diez (122-23; 2nd ed., 107) and echoed by the towering Alfred Jeanroy (Poesie 2: 94), shows a lack of awareness of the real impact of history. The troubadour phenomenon shows an evolution in terms as basic as poetic demography. If we consider individual troubadours in terms of the midpoint of their known years of activity, and if for the sake of clarity we range these midpoints in terms of periods forty years in length, with five periods over the two centuries from 1100 to 1300, we find that the phenomenon as a whole waxed and waned. It describes a modified bell curve. We have about sixty compositions dating from the first forty-year period, more than 180 from the second, nearly a thousand from the third (the turn of the century, 1180-1220), over 600 from the fourth, and over 400 from the fourth. That is, it is a bell curve but high on the right side. If we look at the native regions of the troubadours, we find another movement, more complex in outline but nevertheless coherent. The earliest troubadours hailed from the west of France, from Poitou and Gascogne. In the second period the phenomenon spread toward the east, to the Limousin, Auvergne, and Provence. At the turn of the century it looped back to Languedoc and Quercy. In the fourth period it swept outward toward Italy, and in the fifth toward Catalonia. (60)

Meanwhile, the genres and themes preferred by the troubadours evolved too. The genres themselves began to crystallize slowly; the earliest poets showed no awareness of the highly articulate generic system that developed gradually and reached its fullest expression in the retrospective fourteenth-century poetic, the Leys d'amors. This progressive articulation of poetic forms ran alongside the development of two metapoetic traditions, the commentary on the poems that we call razos and the lives of the poets, or vidas, both of which blossomed in the early thirteenth century. If we consider the production of various genres over two long periods, from 1140 to 1220 and from 1220 to 1300, we may observe a rotation in preference from an early array to a later one. Early on the poets cultivated especially, in descending order, the canso, the tenso, and the descort; later they became more interested, in descending order, in the cobla, the sirventes, religious songs, dances, the pastorela, the planh, and the alba. At the center of this rotation, equally favored early and late, was the partimen (Paden, "System"). The monumental codices in which we receive the troubadour corpus date from the latter thirteenth century onward; the earliest of them, manuscript D in Modena, bears the date 1254. The treatises on the poetic art, after a first appearance around 1200, become more numerous late in the thirteenth century and reach their fullest development with the Leys d'amors in the fourteenth. (61) The poets themselves began to organize their works into coherent collections, songbooks, in the thirteenth century, leading directly to the canzoniere (Holmes).

Running through these complex movements we may detect a pattern of gradual monumentalization of Occitan discourse, from the first, marginal inscriptions that date from before the millennium (Paden, "Before") through the sudden, vigorous explosion of vernacular lyric song and onward to the gradual articulation in genres, the development of metapoetic commentaries, and the advent of luxurious codices, poetic treatises, and songbooks. We may see this movement in the direction of greater cultural prestige within the context of the evolution of medieval vernacular languages in general from their early, largely unrecorded development toward written transcription and eventual flowering. In sociolinguistic terms, we may describe their movement by reference to the concept of diglossia. In the early Middle Ages vernacular languages played the role of low language, each in its own region, while Latin dominated them in the role of high language. The vernaculars rose in cultural function until by the end of the Middle Ages they had come to compete for prestige with Latin, and even to surpass it, as we see in authors such as Montaigne, Cervantes, and Shakespeare. (62)

Earlier in that evolution, Dante and Petrarch contributed mightily to the ennobling of the vernacular even as they paid obeisance to the authority of Latin, each in his way. Petrarch, the poet of Provence, confessed that he was no Florentine poet because he did not write Latin lyric, and titled his collection of vernacular poems deprecatingly the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta. The great body of Petrarch's compositions in Latin compares with the small body of Latin poems by the late troubadour Raimon de Cornet (Paden, Introduction 332). But it is in the Rime themselves that Petrarch represents most strongly the culmination of troubadour lyric. He ennobles vernacular discourse by infusing it with the learning associated with Latin, with the mythology of Daphne and Apollo, Aurora and Tithonus, Icarus, Eurydice, Pygmalion; with Calliope and Euterpe, the muses of love poetry and music; and with fabulous elements such as the phoenix. He enriches it with learning in physiognomy, geography, astronomy, and anatomy. He inserts scribal touches that identify him as a writer, not a singer. He insists obsessively on his love for one lady over a period of twenty-one years from the time they met until her death, and continues to love her for ten years after that, and more. The nearest parallel among the troubadours is in Guiraut Riquier, who says he loved his metaphorical lady Belh Deport, or Fair Pleasure, for over twenty years ("Pus sabers no.m val ni sens" Cansos 103-06), but in his effort to raise his love onto a new ethical height he sacrifices the lady's reality in flesh and blood. Guiraut sustained the complexity of love more effectively in his pastorelas, describing a series of encounters with a shepherdess over twenty-three years. (63)

Petrarch's love is sustained by a depth of devotion that puts it in direct conflict with his religious faith, a conflict that he expounds in the first sonnet of the Rime and develops through tireless variations until the poem to the Virgin at the end. The same conflict characterized troubadour love, but in a different way. Guilhem IX was famously defiant of the church that excommunicated him for his unbridled sexuality, and Marcabru's moralizing was accompanied with more overtly sexual language than we have realized until recently (Marcabru: A Critical Edition). The troubadours' fin'amor developed slowly from its starting point in frank sexual desire, as vernacular culture rose in relation to the high language of Latin, until Guilhem de Montanhagol could claim, "D'amor mou castitatz" (Riquer, Trovadores 3: 1438-40), that is, chastity--meaning "the control and ordering of sexual desire" (Topsfield 247)--starts in love. The later troubadours, those of the thirteenth century, first began to sing of the Virgin, (64) and so launched the vernacular tradition that culminated in Petrarch's Rime 366. Throughout the canzoniere, Petrarch embodies both elements of the conflict between belta and cielo. He described his sexual desire as resembling a horse, as in outspokenly erotic songs by Guilhem IX and more subtle ones by Bernart de Ventadorn, alongside his desire for salvation. (65) The split self strove for conversion: the lover strove to be like the Virgin (Rime 95), like the phoenix (Rime 210), like Christ (Rime 45).

Petrarch embodied within himself the opposed forces that underlay the evolution of troubadour lyric and of the vernacular languages in general from low language to high language, from desire to salvation. By the intensity of this internal opposition, he represents a culmination of troubadour poetry. I imagine that he understood his own position in the history of vernacular poetry in these essential terms. In his own vernacular career he recapitulated the history of the troubadours. The continuity from their art to his served as the vehicle for innovations of various kinds, for extrapolations, reversals, intensification and culmination. Petrarch provides a goal toward which his predecessors in Occitan may be seen as moving. He is an essential figure in the history of the troubadours. It is no small glory of Italian poetry that the founder of Petrarchism and Humanism, and perhaps the "first modern man," may also be seen as the culmination of medieval poetry in Provence.

Northwestern University

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(1) Rime 128, vv. 33-35; 146, vv. 13-14; for the Rime I refer throughout to Petrarca, Canzoniere, ed. Santagata. In a Latin poem beginning "Linquimus Italiam," standing with Italy behind his back and "gallica rura" ("Gallic fields") before him, he concludes, "Gentibus hic fuerat terminus, est et erit" (Petrarca, Rime, Trionfi e poesie latine, ed. Neri et al. 850), "Here has been, is, and will be the boundary-line between peoples." Gallicus, "of or belonging to the Gauls."

(2) In October 1350 (Wilkins, Life 94). In the final poem of the canzoniere Petrarch recalls that he was born on the banks of the Arno, that is, in Arezzo (Rime 366, v. 82); earlier he refers to his "natio dolce aere tosco" (Rime 194, v. 6).

(3) On Petrarch's feelings for Provence and Vaucluse see Argenio; Barthouil; Neri; Peterson.

(4) "No place in the world is more pleasing to me than Vaucluse, / nor any shore more suitable for my studies. / As a boy I was in Vaucluse, and the pleasant valley / nourished in its open bosom the youth who returned. / As a man I spent my better years sweetly in Vaucluse, / and the white threads of my life. / As an old man I want to spent my last time in Vaucluse, / and with you as my leader to die in Vaucluse" (Rime, Trionfi e poesie latine 852).

(5) "Let here be the earth of my fatherland" (Wilkins, "Petrarch's Exul" 455).

(6) "My most pleasing transalpine solitude" (Ariani, fig. 4 opp. p. 113).

(7) Other candidates for this honor include Guiraut Riquier, who died in 1292, and Raimon Cornet, who was active in 1324-1340 (Paden, Introduction 303-05, 332). The Catalan Jordi de Sant Jordi, who died ca. 1424, seems less likely (pace Radatz). It has sometimes been alleged that the troubadours had died out long before Petrarch's time, but see Jeanroy, "La poesie provencale dans le Sud-Ouest de la France"; Lafont and Anatole 1: 221-64; Zufferey.

(8) "Vas on que.m vire / aug la cortesa gen / que cridon 'Cyre' / als frances humilmen" ("Wherever I turn / I hear the courtly people / who cry 'Sire' / humbly to the French"): Bernart Sicart de Maruejols, active about 1230 (Riquer, Trovadores 3: 1202-06). The word sire (here "cyre") is French, not Occitan (Occ. senher).

(9) On Occitan words of Arabic origin see Anglade 28; Wartburg, vol. 19: Orientalia.

(10) For an edition of Rognvald's first stanza on Ermengard, see R. Frank 178-79.

(11) Contini (Poeti 2: 532, n. 4) points out that Cavalcanti's "gioco d'amore" is a Provencalism corresponding to Occitan "joi d'amor."

(12) Keller; Cabre. For a selection of texts see Folena and Mancini.

(13) "A Lombard sirventes, since I am not pleased with Provencal" (Contini, Poeti 1: 501-06). Riquer, Trovadores 3: 1455-72.

(14) Contini, Poeti 1: 161-64. Riquer, Trovadores 3: 1376-80.

(15) Contini, Poeti 1: 353-56. Riquer, Trovadores 3: 1662-65.

(16) Contini, Poeti 1: 477-82; for the Occitan sonnets see Dante da Maiano, Rime 189-93.

(17) Studies include Beltrami and Santagata; Perugi, "A proposito"; Perugi, Trovatori a Valchiusa; Perugi, "Petrarca provenzale"; Santagata 157-211, 327-62. See also the editions of Arnaut Daniel by Riquer (46-48) and Toja (106-13).

(18) "A band of foreign gaits and tongues" (Trionfi, ed. Pacca and Paolino 192).

(19) Santagata glosses prim'anni as "agli inizi del mondo" (Petrarca, Canzoniere 171).

(20) In contrast, the sermon prisco (Rime 40, v. 6) refers to the Latin lyric of the poetae (cf. Rime 166). This reading most easily accommodates the "cose leggiadre" (Rime 40, v. 14), applying leggiadre to vernacular love poetry as Dante does in Purgatorio ("rime d'amore usar dolci e leggiadre" 26, v. 99). Santagata believes that Rime 40 concerns Petrarch's Africa, but is uncertain about lo stil de' moderni (Canzoniere 222-23).

(21) In a poem of desire for conversion, he speaks as though Latin and Greek were tantamount to all languages (Rime 264, v. 68).

(22) But cf. Canzoniere, ed. Santagata 111: "Estrania: nel senso 'di altri, non propria'" (translated "with wondrous voice" by Durling 62).

(23) In Rime 212, "una cerva errante et fugitiva / caccio con un bue zoppo e 'nfermo et lento" (vv. 7-8); Rime 239, "col bue zoppo andrem cacciando l'aura" (v. 36). The vida of Arnaut quotes his poem 10, vv. 43-45: "Eu sui Arnautz q'amas l'aura / e catz la lebre ab lo bou / e nadi contra suberna" (I am Arnaut, who pile up the wind / and chase the rabbit with the ox / and swim against the stream; Canzoni, ed. Toja 166, 274). Arnaut identifies this poem as a sonet (v. 1). Petrarch alludes to other passages from Arnaut in Rime 39, v. 3 ("ch'i' fuggo lor come fanciul la verga"; cf. "aissi cum fai l'enfas denant la verga," ed. Toja, no. 18, v. 11), and in Rime 169, v. 14 ("tanto gli o a dir, che 'ncominciar non oso"; cf. "pois qan la vei non sai, tant l'ai, que dire," ed. Toja, no. 15, v. 7). In a note Petrarch affirmed that he wrote Rime 265 under stimulation from a line in Arnaut's poem beginning "Amors e jois" (ed. Toja, no. 14, v. 40); cf. Canzoniere, ed. Santagata 1069; Pulsoni.

(24) Santagata glosses ydioma as "modo di parlare" (Canzoniere 1393).

(25) We have Laura's words addressed to Petrarch in Rime 23 (vv. 74, 83), and to her mother in Rime 262. She speaks to Petrarch in his dreams in Rime 33, 123, 250. After her death she speaks to him in direct quotations in Rime 328, 341, 342, 359 (extended dialogue), and 362; in indirect quotations in Rime 286 and 346. He says she spoke but gives none of her words in Rime 111, 112, 258, 270, and 351. See Sturm-Maddox 45-53, 210-15.

(26) For defense of the thesis that Laura was real see Petrarch, Rerum Familiarum Liber II, 9 (Opere 715); for the date when he says he met Laura, April 6, 1327, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon, see Canzoniere, ed. Santagata 17. On the picciol borgo where she was born, Rime 4, v. 12 (Canzoniere, ed. Santagata 24). For dismissal of her reality, see Carrara and Freccero. Laura "becomes potentially a work of art," Sturm-Maddox 26-30. Kallendorf expresses doubts about her historicity (135, 138).

(27) "Qui canto dolcemente" Rime 112, v. 9; "un cantar tanto soave" Rime 360, v. 102; Sturm-Maddox 53-61. Recall that Italian lyric poetry, according to Roncaglia ("Sul 'divorzio' tra musica e poesia"), had witnessed a divorce from music.

(28) Fundamental for this comparison are Zenari and I. Frank; see also Galdi.

(29) See I. Frank, rhyme-scheme 864:2-5. Arnaut Daniel, "Lo ferm voler q'el cor m'intra," ed. Toja 373-85. Bertolome Zorzi, "En tal dezir mos cors intra," ed. Levy 68-69. Guilhem de Saint-Gregori (?), "Ben grans avoleza intra," attributed to Bertran de Born by Paden, Sankovitch, and Stablein 402-07.

(30) "Quan pes qui suy, fuy so que.m franh," ed. Appel, Provenzalische Inedita 254-56.

(31) Dante, "Amor, tu vedi ben"; not a true double sestina according to Canzoniere, ed. Santagata 1298; Alighieri, Dante's Lyric Poetry 2: 268-69. Petrarch's sestinas in vita are Rime 22, 30, 66, 80, 142, 214, 237, and 239. For metrical analysis see Zenari 127-31.

(32) Bernart de Ventadorn uses coblas singulars in just two songs, but coblas unissonans in thirty and coblas doblas in twelve (Lazar 29-30).

(33) On Rime 29 see especially the probing study by Grubitzsch-Rodewald.

(34) Chambers, Introduction, shows that stanzas grew longer in Marcabru than they had been in Guilhem IX (52), and steadily longer in Raimbaut d'Aurenga (107), Giraut de Bornelh (112), and Cerveri de Girona (216).

(35) See for example Chambers, Introduction 216-17, and Arnaut Daniel, Poesias, ed. Riquer.

(36) See I. Frank for "strophes monometriques: vers de dix syllabes" (2: 10-19), "vers de six syllabes" (2: 28-30).

(37) Antonelli. Kleinhenz (21-33) emphasizes the role of the canso but also mentions the cobla (23, 33). Alighieri, De Vulgari Eloquentia, ed. Marigo 184.

(38) Rime 24, 179, 244, 266, 322, and Rime estravaganti, in Trionfi, rime estravaganti, codice degli abbozzi 660, 703, 712. On contrafacture in Occitan see the classic article by Chambers, "Imitation."

(39) Thus Battaglia 19: 407; Il Vocabolario Treccani 5: 131; Alighieri, De Vulgari Eloquentia, ed. Marigo 182; Tresor de la Langue Francaise 15: 686. Wartburg (12: 103) lists French sonnet among reflexes of Latin sonus without specifying its itinerary. The Oxford English Dictionary treats sonetto as the diminutive of suono, "sound" (15: 1007, s.v. "sonnet").

(40) On Petrarch and music see Haar.

(41) Frank lists 28 Occitan dansas, 9 ballades, and 7 estampidas (Paden, "System" 27).

(42) On the ballata see Zenari 132-35; on the dansa and balada, Chambers, Introduction 217-33.

(43) Although the rhyme scheme of Rime 121 (ABB,ACC,CDD) corresponds to that of a canso by Aimeric de Peguilhan (abbacccdd, ten syllables masculine); see I. Frank, scheme 568: 1. On the madrigale see Zenari 136-37; Ariani suggests that Petrarch may have invented it (273, 280).

(44) Bernardo (310) relates the patriotic poems, not without some strain, to Petrarch's love of Glory, one member in the triad of his values (God, Glory, Laura).

(45) "E d'aquesta pagela son vaquieras, vergieras, porquieras, auquieras, crabieras, ortolanas, monias, et enayssi de las autras lors semblans" (Las Leys d'amors, in Appel, Provenzalische Chrestomathie 200; "And of this kind are cow-girl poems, garden-girl poems, swine-girl poems, goose-girl poems, goat-girl poems, garden-girl poems, nun poems, and others like them).

(46) "Sweet creature, if it could be / that never there were dawn or day, / a great mercy it would be" (Paden, Introduction 37, 319).

(47) So also Rime 223 (rhymes alba [...] inalba).

(48) "I have a girl friend, I don't know who she is [...] / I never saw her, yet I love her well, / I never had right from her, nor has she done me wrong; / When I don't see her, I get along well [. . . ]" (Riquer, Trovadores 1: 113-17)

(49) With a variation in one line: Rime 206, v. 58, substitutes -ella for -ei.

(50) Las Leys d'amors, in Appel, Provenzalische Chrestomathie 200. For discussion see Bertran de Born, Poems 66-67; Petrarch, Canzoniere 880.

(51) Appel, "Petrarka"; Beltrami and Santagata; Casella; Cherchi; Ferrero; Fontana; Grubitzsch-Rodewald; Manfredi; Peirone; Perugi, "Petrarca provenzale"; Perugi, Trovatori a Valchiusa; Poli; Pulsoni; Scarano; Zingarelli. I have not seen Pagani.

(52) See Gruber 85-91, 200-09; Paterson, "Marcabru's Rhetoric."

(53) "He speaks the truth who calls me covetous / and desirous of love from afar, / for no other joy pleases me as much / as enjoyment of love from afar" (Paden, Introduction 136-37, 535).

(54) In Rime 230 Petrarch says that his weeping was so deep, and so far the shore ("si lunge la riva," v. 10), as to seem unattainable; the word lunge in this context may suggest Jaufre's amor de lonh, and the shore may recall his vida, in which he sailed to Tripoli, only to die there in his lady's arms.

(55) "When I see the lark beat / his wings with joy in the [sun's] ray, / that forgets himself and lets himself fall / for the warmth that goes to his heart, / Oh! Such great envy comes to me / Of anyone I see rejoicing / [that] I'm amazed that right away / my heart doesn't melt with desire" (Paden, Introduction 159, 538).

(56) Santagata points out that poggia comes "dal provenzale poiar" (Canzoniere 122).

(57) "I have fallen into ill favor, / and I have acted just like the fool on the bridge; / and I don't know why it happens to me, / except because I climbed too high" (Paden, Introduction 160, 539).

(58) "With my breath I draw toward myself the breeze / that I feel [or: smell] coming from Provence; / all that is from there pleases me, / so that when I hear [people] speaking well of it / I hear it with a smile, / And in exchange for one word I ask for a hundred; / I am so happy when I hear [people] speak well of it" (Paden, Introduction, 26, 517, slightly modified).

(59) On the tradition see Roncaglia, "'Can la frej'aura venta'"; Riquer, "'Hei, ore dolce'"; Contini, "Prehistoire de l'aura de Petrarque"; Spaggiari. For Peire's inspiration in Bernart de Ventadorn, "Can la frej'aura venta," see Ferrari 200-03.

(60) I have developed this argument in "Troubadours and History."

(61) Kelly. The first treatise, the Razos de trobar, was written 1190-1213 (Raimon Vidal, Razos lxx).

(62) Blanchet (301) argues, following Gumperz, that diglossia involves a continuum between high and low languages; I translate that continuum into diachronic terms ("Europe from Latin to Vernacular in Epic, Lyric, Romance").

(63) His pastorelas are in Paden, Medieval Pastourelle, 2: 342-65; cf. Bossy.

(64) Of the poems described as "chansons religieux" by I. Frank, one falls in period 1, six in period 2, seven in period 3, thirteen in period 4, and twenty-six in period 5. For an edition of fifty-five religious poems see Oroz Arizcuren.

(65) Rime 6, 161, 173, 178. Guilhem IX, "Companho, faray un vers [...] covinen" (Riquer, Trovadores 1: 128-30). Bernart de Ventadorn, "Non es meravelha s'eu chan" (Riquer, Trovadores 1: 409-11); "si.m tira vas amor lo fres," v. 7 ("the bridle pulls me so hard toward love").
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