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its method of poetic description, utilizing both a lexicon and technical approach that are directly inherited from the works of the poetic father.  An excellent example of this is Pietro Bembo’s (Venezia, 1470-Roma, 1547) sonnet “Crin d’oro crespo”:

Crin d’oro crespo e d’ambra tersa e pura,

ch’a l’aura su la neve ondeggi e vole,

occhi soavi e più chiari che ‘l sole,

da far giorno seren la notte oscura,

riso, ch’acqueta ogni aspra pena e dura,

rubini e perle, ond’escono parole

sì dolci, ch’altro ben l’ama non vole,

man d’avorio, che i cor distringe e fura,

cantar, che sembra d’armonia divina,

senno matura a la più verde etade,

leggiadria non veduta unqua fra noi,

giunta a somma beltà somma onestade,

fur l’esca del mio foco, e sono in voi

grazie ch’a poche il ciel largo destina.

Bembo’s sonnet faithfully recreates the Petrarchan woman, putting her back together piece by piece, with each piece in its correct place.  Her golden tresses ripple in the breeze, her soft voice comes forth from rubies and pearls, and her ivory hand grasps the gazer’s heart as he listens to the sweet tones of her musical voice.  In fact, the reproduction is so close that it seems that not simply the Petrarchan aesthetic standard, but that Laura herself is brought back to life in this poem, as Bembo utilizes the quintessential Petrarchan paranomasia “l’aura,” to make the mythic beauty present in his work.  Thus Bembo’s sonnet operates as a linguistic reproduction of a woman and of a poetic ideal and offers the pleasure of recognizing that reproduction.  “The more scholarly minded reader of the time may even have rejoiced at the act of linguistic preservation [this type of poem] represents.”20

20 Mirollo, 132

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