Western Medieval European Poetry and Literature. CNE/ENG 120 11/3/04. Medieval Period. “1,000 year epoch in which nearly every element of modern European culture can be found already in existence, but in strange forms and used for alien purposes.”. Vernacular Medieval Literature.
Syllabic (each syllable gets a single note)
Melismatic (many notes are used for 1 syllable)
The verb trobar “to find” - focuses on the skills of invention and improvisation.
If you were skilled at composition, it followed that you would be skilled at love.
The verses had to possess the same aesthetic qualities as the woman/man one loved.
A good poem required payment in good love; Bernart threatens to stop composing and leave town because his lady hasn’t followed this rule (‘When I see the skylark moving’).
what themes/imagery can we see here?
‘Love is a wound in the body, and yet nothing appears on the outside. It’s a sickness that lasts a long time, because it comes from nature. Many people treat it lightly, like these false courtiers who have affairs everywhere they go, then boast about their conquests; that’s not love but folly, evil and lechery. If you can find a loyal love, you should serve love and serve it faithfully, be at its command.’