Greetings from Notre Dame
To Francesco Petrarca,
I was first introduced to you by your account of The Ascent of Mount Ventoux, as well as On His Own Ignorance and that of Many Others. I later found a copy of your letters and read them eagerly, over and over. Although your name is familiar to only a select few in my time, your influence has reached through the centuries. You have left your mark on our appreciation of classical literature, romantic love, and the many effects of the Renaissance. Later poets by the names of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Pope and Bryon and others have carried on your legacy in my own native tongue.
Intrigued by the wide reaching extent of your influence, and encouraged by the Program of Liberal Studies, I resolved to approach closer and see what scraps of genius my own humble search might uncover. Thanks to a generous grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, I was fortunate enough to travel throughout some of your favorite haunts in Provence and the Eugenean Hills, and after such an intimate experience I felt the need to write to you, drawing inspiration from your own letters to Marcus Tullus Cicero. Throughout this endeavor I was grateful for the guidance of Professor Robert Goulding, who first piqued my interest in your works, and whose resourcefulness, I discovered, far eclipses Google.
Of course, quill pens and parchment were so 15th century. Instead, I will be communicating by means of this blog, a medium you might have found useful in your own extensive correspondence. I can only hope that you have WiFi, (which is still only slightly easier to find in Avignon today than it was during the 15th century.)
Written by the lawns of South Quad, amidst the blur of finals week.