is described as a “candido, leggiadretto et caro guanto.” In this moment, the veil no longer functions as an impediment to the erotic experience, but rather is the empowering element of it. The glove becomes a fetish object, the founding artifact of a stalker-like collection of Laura’s trappings that the speaker wants to accumulate: “Così avess’io del bel velo altrettanto!” Later in the series, in Canzoniere 201, it is the fetishized glove itself, and not the hand’s nakedness, that makes possible the speaker’s climax of pleasure: “ch’al sommo del mio ben quasi ero aggiunto / pensando meco: ‘A chi fu quest’intorno!’” Thus, the first terzina of Canzoniere 199 is not just a moment of beauty, but is also a moment of eroticisation.
Berni’s sonnet engages the concept of the eroticized veil. By recalling the moment when the veil itself becomes an erotically charged image, Berni himself erotically charges his own poem. The Sonetto del bacciliero begins with an exhortation to various urinal-like containers, encouraging them to weep because “rotto è ‘l pentolin del bacciliero.” What object is broken is unclear at this point. Certainly, “pentolin” could refer to the bachelor’s chamber pot, but the word could variably mean “the male member” or “anus.” This mild homosexual imagery explodes in the first terzina of the sonnet when the work recalls Laura’s glove. Here, Berni’s sonnet employs the Petrarchan description of a penetrated object in order to resolve the ambiguity of its terms and to communicate the loss of a tight fit. Thus, Berni erotically charges his described object in his first terzina by recalling the important first terzina of the Canzoniere in which Petrarch himself eroticizes an object. By engaging a specific moment in the Petrarchan oeuvre in this way, the Sonetto del bacciliero does not simply operate as a silly lament for a broken household object, but becomes a scandalous homosexual elegy,