The 'Canzoniere', a sequence of sonnets and other verse forms, were written over a period of about 40 years. They describe Petrarch's intense love for Laura, whom he first met in Avignon in 1327, and her effect on him after she died in 1348. The collection is an examination of the poet's growing spiritual crisis, and also explores important contemporary issues such as the role of the papacy and religion.
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