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this question with a short litany of adjectives: “Destro, galante, leggiadretto e snello.”  These lines allude to Canzoniere 199 in which Petrarch describes the hand and stolen glove of his beloved Laura.  In the first terzina of that sonnet, Petrarch muses on Laura’s glove:

O bella man che mi destringi ‘l core

e ‘n poco spazio la mia vita chiudi,

man ov’ogni arte et tutti loro studi

poser Natura e ‘l Ciel per farsi onore,

di cinque perle oriental colore,

et sol ne le mie piaghe acerbi et crudi,

diti schietti soavi: a tempo ignudi

consente or voi per arricchirme Amore.

Candido, leggiadretto et caro guanto

che copria netto avorio et fresche rose:

chi vide al mondo mai sì dolci spoglie?

Così avess’io del bel velo altrettanto!

O inconstanzia de l’umane cose,

pur questo è furto, et vien chi me ne spoglie.

The hand and glove are typical subjects for Petrarchan poetry, the most famous examples perhaps being Canzoniere 199-201.  James Mirollo describes this short series as “surely one of the most influential of the entire collection” and illustrates their importance by pointing out that “the sixteenth century witnessed a flood of Petrarchist poems on the motif of hand and glove,” citing Lodovico Ariosto, Pietro Bembo, and Torquato Tasso, amongst others.15  Further, Mirollo points out that the hand served a specific purpose when used as the object of the poet’s discourse, that purpose being “utilitarian, social, aesthetic, and expressive.”16  In the Petrarchan series, in sonnet 199 for example, it is the hand that does the work of maintaining the beloved’s control over the poet: “O

15 Mirollo, 131

16 Ibid., 127

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