Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Canzoniere: Selected Poems” as Want to Read:
Canzoniere: Selected Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Canzoniere: Selected Poems

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  706 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
This is a translation of 60 poems from Petrarch's Canzoniere, readable as English verse but also faithful to Petrarchan technique and structure, with a mixture of full rhyme and half-rhymes. The selection includes poetry from the first and second parts of the Canzoniere (known as 'in vita' and 'in mote') and includes samples of all the various forms - the dominant sonnet a ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 171 pages
Published October 31st 2002 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1374)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Canzoniere, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Canzoniere

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerThe Divine Comedy by Dante AlighieriInferno by Dante AlighieriSir Gawain and the Green Knight by UnknownThe Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Best Books of the 14th Century
10th out of 30 books — 258 voters
Beowulf by UnknownThe Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerSir Gawain and the Green Knight by UnknownThe Divine Comedy by Dante AlighieriLe Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory
Best Medieval Literature
25th out of 151 books — 105 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 09, 2013 Rose rated it it was amazing
The edition I have includes two letters at the start, "Letter to Posterity" and "The Ascent of Mount Ventoux." They were my favorite parts, because I'm not a poetry person. The poetry was good too (I think): lots of boars in the wood and shining hair and painful devotion; I can dig it. There are rumours that the "Laura" to whom all his poems are devoted is actually a stand-in for fame itself. His painful, painful, romantic, erotic devotion to fame. I can dig that even more (I mean, I've never ...more
Oct 29, 2011 Ivana rated it really liked it
It was fun to reread Petrarca in English. Being confident that there are plenty of good reviews about this famous poetry book, I don't have anything a lot to say besides simply that I enjoy Petrarca's poetry immensely. When I've first read him as adolescent( when I had to because of the school) I used to think that he was crazy for writing a collection of poems to a women he did not know. Many years later and having learn a bit more about the context of his writing and I'm able to admire him for ...more
Mel Bossa
Feb 02, 2016 Mel Bossa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 0010-poetry
This is much more than a long love poem to Laura, but the musings of a great mind on destiny, the choices we make, and just how honest we decide to be with ourselves.

According to what history says about Petrarch, he was a man divided by a quest to live a simple life of beauty and contemplation, and a relentless need to participate in Italian politics (which in his time were bloody and unbelievably unpredictable as any Game of Thrones episode). He had hopes of returning the papacy to Rome where
Fabiola Fulco Salazar
Nov 14, 2015 Fabiola Fulco Salazar rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Este libro fue una especie de karma para mí, se me hizo interminable. Sin embargo, la poesía de Petrarca lo valió. Laura no solo vive a través de sus versos sino que él acabó viviendo gracias a ella. Ilusión sin equivalencia histórica, constructo simbólico o cualquiera que haya sido el fin de Laura... sin duda está latente en todo el Cancionero, así como la genialidad del poeta que lo compuso.
Jul 13, 2012 Beluosus rated it really liked it
Shelves: italiano
Vorrei che conoscessi migliore l'italiano. Perlomeno potevo un po del Canzoniere leggere -- adagio. Allora, Petrarca non è il mio preferito poeta, ma certamente sono motivato a provare la sua poesia latina.
Nov 15, 2016 Mannequin rated it really liked it
Wow.. I did not expected that I will like this so much. It's clearly one of my favourite of all time.
Sep 26, 2016 Ari46 rated it it was amazing
The beauty of Italian poetry is something special
Nov 10, 2013 Celine rated it really liked it
The entire Canzoniere are 365 poems written by the early humanist Francesco Petrarca, centering around his love for Laura. My version only had sixty of the poems, because a lot of them are hard to translate into English without losing a lot of the form and syntax that makes them special.

I'm not a big poetry reader. The amount of books with poems that I've read can easily be counted on one hand. I think the Canzoniere were a bit too ambitious for me; at times I had no clue what Petrarca was talki
Feb 16, 2013 Galicius rated it really liked it
Shelves: italian, poetry
Petrarch’s sonnets like Romantic poetry overflow with spontaneous feelings though he lives some four centuries earlier than the Romantics. He adores his beloved, burns and exalts, wallows in self-pity, suffers and hopes longer than any one poet of record all for one unrequited love. He writes in sonnet 336 that on April 6, 1348 “the body let that blessed soul go free.” He met Laura on April 6, 1327 (Good Friday). In sonnet 364 he writes

“For twenty-one long years Love made me burn,
glad in the f
Shawn Bird
Aug 28, 2011 Shawn Bird rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Highly recommended title for teachers who want to demonstrate REAL Italian/Petrarchan sonnets from the first master of the style. I love that Anthony Mortimer actually kept the Petrarcan rhyme scheme in his translation. So many choose words without the rhyme which is such a vital part of a sonnet! I had permission to use #13 "When sometimes Love comes in that lovely face/Quando fra l'altre donne ad ora a ora for Grace Awakening, but instead ended up doing my own translation of 61 (which Mortimer ...more
Mar 23, 2008 Ainsley rated it it was amazing
Francesco Petrarca was the foremost scholar of his day. This set of love poems was dedicated to his love Laura and was written over a span of some twenty years, from the moment he first met her at age twenty three to the point where he learned of her death some twenty years later. She never returned his love. The Canzoniere is luminous with poetry, and a delight to read. This edition has a parallel Italian text.
Lisa Ablondi
May 06, 2012 Lisa Ablondi rated it really liked it
What a beautiful accident it was to discover Petrarch. I am definitely going to make sure my future students all know about him and his love for a woman who never knew he existed. 50 years of dedicated love from one look in a church is here in this book, and you will definitely find a new favorite poem.
May 14, 2014 Cameron rated it it was amazing
This slim volume is a collection of poems that Petrarch spent over forty years composing. I've dog-eared practically every page, which is the strongest recommendation I could offer for any book.

"I see a storm in port, and, tired out,
my pilot there, the mast and rigging down,
and the bright stars I contemplated spent."

May 12, 2010 Marlies rated it it was amazing
I wish I had a Petrarca! WOW...I love the sonnets about Laura. I love his work. He's the absolute master of sonnets. Moves you to tears..really.
Jean rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2013
Violet Horlick
Violet Horlick rated it liked it
May 22, 2012
Giorgia Mihalescu
Giorgia Mihalescu rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2014
Pavel Skigin
Pavel Skigin rated it liked it
May 11, 2013
Karina Virovbal
Karina Virovbal rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2016
Astridelena rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2011
Marko Jurcevic
Marko Jurcevic rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2013
Kylie rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2016
Ella rated it it was amazing
Nov 01, 2015
Hrvo rated it it was ok
Dec 28, 2013
Chiara rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2014
Antonia rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2012
Lana rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2016
Boris rated it liked it
Aug 16, 2012
Nives rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2011
Dunja rated it did not like it
Oct 15, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sonnet 164: All Silent Now Lie Earth And Wind And Sky 1 3 Apr 15, 2013 07:43AM  
  • Vita Nuova
  • Cuttlefish Bones
  • Jerusalem Delivered
  • Orlando Furioso
  • Leopardi: Selected Poems
  • The Autobiography Of Benvenuto Cellini
  • Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis
  • Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus
  • Selected Poetry
  • Endymion: A Poetic Romance
  • Selected Poems and Fragments
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Medieval Imagination
  • The Selected Poems of Tu Fu
  • Poems and Translations
  • Piers Plowman
  • The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose
  • The Bridge
Francesco Petrarca known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet, and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists. Petrarch is often popularly called the "father of humanism". Based on Petrarch's works, and to a lesser extent those of Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio, Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language, later endorsed by the ...more
More about Francesco Petrarca...

Share This Book

“I freeze and burn, love is bitter and sweet, my sighs are tempests and my tears are floods, I am in ecstasy and agony, I am possessed by memories of her and I am in exile from myself.” 101 likes
More quotes…