Analysis of Petrach's Poetry: a Translation of Italian Poem Rime 140

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  • Topic: Sonnet, Poetry, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
  • Pages : 4 (1546 words )
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  • Published : February 10, 2013
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This is a translation of the Italian poem "Rime 140" by Petrarch. The following link - shows the original form and two translations - each poem is different. They are built around the conceit of love as a warrior or knight, who, in the octave, makes bold to declare himself through a blush, and is promptly rebuked by the beloved; the sestet finds him running away to hide, leaving the poet to reflect on his plight as a faithful servant of a cowardly master. By attributing the offensive, cowardly, and ridiculous behavior to a third-party “love,” he appears to be distancing himself from an embarrassing situation. He can condescendingly paint this personified love as a blustery miles glorious one moment and a coward the next, while at the same time depicting himself as the constant but hapless servant, bound willy-nilly to attend a capricious master. All the while, of course, we see the machinery of the metaphor; we see the puppet-strings by which “love” moves; we understand the specious distinction on which the face-saving dodge is built; we are not taken in. Nor are we meant to be. In the process, we wind up laughing along with the poet. By letting us in on the joke, he turns it into an occasion for amusement and light reflection. ♥

Literary works have certain meanings displayed throughout their entirety. A single literary work however can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Petrarch whose poetry was about the idealistic approach to love, caused for several Renaissance writers to revisit them and translate them to represent different meanings. Basically, Sir Thomas Wyatt in his poem "The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbour" and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey in his poem "Love That Doth Reign and Live Within My Thought," both explored the varying view of the original poem created by Petrarch. Their views on the aspect of love helped to be shaped by the Renaissance ideas, help to display the changing times as created by this period of rebirth and also help to...
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