What does Petrarch’s Sonnet 28 mean?

I have to interpret this poem & have no idea what it means. HELP PLEASE!

Sonnet 28

By: Francesco Petrarch

Alone, and lost in thought, the desert glade

Measuring I roam with lingering steps and slow;

And still a watchful glance around me throw,

Anxious to shun the print of human tread:

No other means I find, no surer aid

From the world's prying eye to hide my woe:

So well my wild disorder'd gestures show,

And love-lorn looks, the fire within me bred,

That well I think each mountain, wood and plain,

And river knows, what I from man conceal,

What dreary hues my life's fool chances dim.

Yet whate'er wild or savage paths I've ta'en,

Where'er I wander, love attends me still,

Soft whisp'ring to my soul, and I to him

4 Answers

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  • Petrarch Sonnet 28

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    The speaker of the poem is running from humankind, "the world's prying eye", because there is some shame associated with their sadness, a sadness that comes from lover's problems. The speaker knows that they are out of control, describing their own "wild disordered gestures", "fire within", and paranoia regarding natural objects, so they are not truly mad. However, the speaker takes solace in their God, as the final three lines suggest. No matter what the speaker has done, nor where the speaker goes, their God will be with them. Petrarch was a staunch Christian, so I don't think it is a stretch to think that the final three lines refer to the God of Christianity, however, Petrarch is not necessarily the speaker of the poem.

  • The speaker goes to Nature, to be alone, to hide feeling and sooth the pain. The river knows the speaker's "soul".

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