Petrarch wrote poems to ‹Laura›. In the name Laura there is (also) meant gold, golden arrows of the god Cupid, the golden beak (in reality the golden feathers) of the phoenix bird which burns (sacrifices) itself and then rises again from its ashes. But also Laurel (the victory prize).
For Petrarch (who lived and wrote his poetry 700 years ago!) Laura was an inspiration, a source – rather a destination to which he could write (direct) his poetry.
Ashamed sometimes that your beauty, Lady, is still silent in my verses…
Alas, I find the weight too great – notwithstanding many times
my lips have opened, and many times
I’ve begun to scribble verses:
but the pen, the hand, and the intellect
fell back defeated at their first attempt
If only I could imprison in my verses
the thoughts imprisoned in my heart
Petrarch speaks about himself (the beauty of Laura not being able to put into verses – this beauty came to him like Amor’s arrows – and wishing to transform the inprisonement (of deepest feelings for Laura) in his heart in an inprisonement into verses – somehow as a ‹phoenix deed›. Arrow and beak – Lauras ‹attributes› – so, in that way, Laura is »in the poem»).
These verses are very modern, because they lament the fact that the poet seems not to be able to put Laura’s beauty into words – and not to be able to «lock up» into verses – his (secret) feelings, locked in his heart. But just by saying this, he glorifies her (unspeakable) beauty and encloses his secret feelings (which we do not know, but suspect) in verses – just mysteriously – without naming them. All that makes those verses so complex, vibrant and full of wonder!
Through this in turn – finally – we notice that he talks about something and does the opposite at the same moment – he does something different than what he says – he speaks »between the lines»…