The first and second “forms” of the Rvf

For Wilkins, Petrarch envisioned another collection, which the critic calls “the first form of the Rvf,” on August 21, 1342. Wilkins reads Petrarch’s notation, “ceptu trascribj et incep. ab hoc loco 1342. Aug. 21, hora 6” –on f. 9v of the Vat. Lat. 3196, above the sonnet “Apollo s’ancor vive il bel desio”– as an indication of a consistent re-elaboration and re-organization plan of Petrarch’s poems. According to Wilkins the sonnet “Apollo s’ancor vive il bel desio” must have been the incipit poem in this “form” of the Rvf (146-147), that included the poems: 34, 35, 36, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49, 58, 60, 64, 69. The myth of Apollo and Daphne had already a prominent role but this “form” included secondary themes as well. We do not know anything else about this "reference collection" as its fair copy had been lost.

Wilkins speculates that what he calls the second form (1347-1350) represents the time in which Petrarch undertakes another general reorganization of his poems by adding the actual incipit poem (“Voi ch’ascoltate in rime sparse il suono”) and the canzone “I’ vo pensando, et nel penser m’assale” that in later forms represented the beginning of part II of the Rvf. To conclude, for the supposed first two “forms” of the Rvf we do not have material manuscripts as these “forms” are conceived by Wilkins’s assumptions on Petrarch marginal notes on some poems transcribed in the ms. Vat. Lat. 3196.


University of Oregon

National Endowment for the Humanities logo