This is the course website for ITAL 36141 and ITAL 71500, The Poetry and Humanism of Petrarch. Our particular focus will be on Petrarch’s collection of poems, the Canzoniere, also known as the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (Fragments of Vernacular Matters) and the Rime sparse (Scattered Rhymes), and on his Secretum (My Secret Book). In our reading of Petrarch’s poems and prose we will pay attention to their themes (love, foremost, but also time, order, change, religion, politics) and the influence of previous writers in Latin (Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Augustine’s Confessions) and in Italian (the troubadours and earlier Italian poets, including Dante). We will also explore what it meant to read and write during Petrarch’s time to better understand the material aspects of Petrarch’s composition of his poems and canzoniere, and study the many followers of Petrarch over time.