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che ’l vedevon tal or portar in parte

ove usa ogni famoso cantarello.

This poem foregrounds its Petrarchan heritage from its very opening. The initial words of Berni’s lament for the broken chamber pot, “Piangete destri,” and in fact the structure of the whole first quatrain of the sonnet recall Petrarch’s elegy for Cino da Pistoia, Canzoniere 92, “Piangete Donne”:

Piangete, Donne, et con voi pianga Amore,

piangete, amanti, per ciascun paese

poi ch’è morto colui che tutto intese

in farvi, mentre visse al mondo, onore.

Io per me prego il mio acerbo dolore

non sian da lui le lagrime contese

et mi sia di sospir tanto cortese

quanto bisogna a disfogare il core.

Piangan le rime ancor, piangano i versi,

perché ‘l nostro amoroso messer Cino

novellamente s’è da noi partito.

Pianga Pistoia e i cittadin perversi

che perduto ànno sì dolce vicino,

et rallegresi il cielo ov’ ello è gito.

Recalling a grave Petrarchan lament at the opening of such a seemingly frivolous poem lends, one could say, a certain gravity to the burlesque poem.  By doing so, the quote delays the comic effect of the work by emphasizing the ambiguity of the poem’s initial addressee.  “Destri,” in sixteenth-century Italian, can mean, according to the Grande Dizionario della lingua italiana, both “worthy or noble people” and “latrines.”  The Petrarchan context of the opening line implies the former definition, but when the reader arrives at the second line of the poem, addressed to commodes and chamber pots, the later definition becomes appropriate.  The invocation of the solemn Petrarchan

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