Petrarch Questions and Answers
by Francesco Petrarca

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In "Sonnet 131" (I'd sing of Love in such a novel fashion) by Petrarch, what is the intent of the author/speaker? What message is supposed to be conveyed? Is the message stated directly or indirectly? Please include quotes.

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The speaker conveys a couple of intentions in this poem. First, he wishes to turn the "cold mind" of an unnamed woman into thoughts of more passionate feelings. He believes that through his art, he can sing of love in such novel ways that her heart will no longer be cruel toward him. He wants to see her regret the choices that she's made—namely, rejecting him in some way. The speaker seems to take a sort of pleasure in imagining how this will play out, hoping that her eyes will "grow wet" and do so "quite often" as she realizes her "mistake." All of this is stated rather directly in the first two stanzas.

The second intention is a bit more indirect. The author, presumably the poet speaking as himself, wishes to use all of the angst he has suffered from this "cold" woman to further his own eternal glory. In the last stanza, he notes that he doesn't mind the discontent he faces in the present, because it provides the inspiration he needs to create this poem—and thus reach fame....

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