Toscan's examination of the numerous ways in which Berni and his followers eroticize language is largely confined to the poems published in the two Giunti anthologies of burlesque verse of 1548 and 1555.
More importantly, Toscan's approach toward burlesque poetry tends to reduce reading to an act of decoding that does not adequately describe the manner in which Bronzino and other burlesque poets invest words or a passage with erotic meaning.
Reducing the reading of burlesque poetry to an act of decoding ultimately overlooks the lighthearted irreverence and humor which constitutes one of the most distinctive characteristics of these works.
The capitolo belongs to a genre of burlesque poems - paradoxical encomiums - which praise unpleasant conditions or places, such as plague, sickness and prison.
The precise nature of the rocking motion which the galley offers the lovesick is highly ambiguous as burlesque poets often used the word "dondolare" to refer to intercourse.
In burlesque poetry the word "camera" (room) and its synonyms usually connote either the anus or vagina.
That this recently arrived convict is kept in the bilge for a time underscores further the term's ambiguity, as expressions indicating interiority or exteriority in burlesque poetry generally refer to one's proximity to sexual organs.
In such passages one sees the spirited juxtaposition of two poetic traditions as Bronzino intertwines the colorful, provocative language of the burlesque capitolo with the refined language of the lyric.
But read in terms of the erotic significance accorded numbers in burlesque poetry, the line acquires quite a different meaning: zero, because of its circular shape, often represents the anus in burlesque poetry, while nine is considered a phallic symbol due to its shape.
Vasari's tribute underscores a number of important points: Bronzino's poems were circulated and published during his lifetime; Tuscan artists and letterati were familiar with his literary activities; the painter's poetry was notable for its capricious qualities; and, although Bronzino wrote both sonnets and burlesque rhymes, it was the ingenuity of the latter works which contemporaries most admired.
48) The objects which the men hurl at one another - rocks, scissors, and knives - underscore the sexual nature of the assault - in burlesque poetry these items typically function as coded language for phallic references.
Whereas the Umidi tended to compose burlesque poetry, the two chief reformers, Cosimo Bartoli and Pier Francesco Giambullari, discouraged the writing of "cose inhoneste e nefande.
13 The most important manuscript of Bronzino's burlesque capitoli is Magi.