What does Petrarch's Sonnet 90 say about true love, and what poetic techniques does he use? Petrarch: Sonnet 90 Upon the breeze she spread her golden hairthat in a thousand gentle knots was turnedand the sweet light beyond all radiance burnedin eyes where now that radiance is rare;and in her face there seemed to come an airof pity, true or false, that I discerned:I had love's tinder in my breast unburned,was it a wonder if it kindled there?She moved not like a mortal, but as thoughshe bore an angel's form, her words had thena sound that simple human voices lack;a heavenly spirit, a living sunwas what I saw; now, if it is not so,the wound's not healed because the bow goes.

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In Sonnet 90, Petrarch expresses two main ideas about love: one is that his love for Laura does not fade over time and as she ages; the second is that his love for her is painful because it is not returned. 

Petrarch's first idea -- that Laura remains beautiful and desirable to him over the years -- is conveyed mostly through physical descriptions of Laura, using imagery and figurative language. Stanza one (lines 1-4) provide a good example of imagery: 

Upon the breeze she spread her golden hair
that in a thousand gentle knots was turned
and the sweet light beyond all radiance burned
in eyes where now that radiance is rare

Here, Petrarch describes Laura's hair blowing in the wind in a way that allows readers to picture the image. This excerpt also ends with a contrast -- Petrarch notes that Laura's eyes no longer show the same "radiance" they did when she was younger. Petrarch continues to discuss his physical attraction to Laura in lines 9-13: 

She moved not like a mortal, but as though
she...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 935 words.)

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