Troubadour Poetry, From Dawn to Dawn

Troubadours, The (c.1100–c.1350), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Troubadours were composers and performers of Old Occitan lyric poetry during 1100–1350. Their songs centred on the themes of chivalry and courtly love, ranging from intellectual, metaphysical pieces to humorous satires. Originating in Occitania, this lyrical form soon spread to Italy and the Iberian Peninsulas. Similar movements arose across Europe, including Germany’s Minnesang, Galicia and Portugal’s trovadorismo, and northern France’s trouvères. After a peak in the 13th century, the tradition declined and vanished after the advent of the Black Death in 1348.

The translations of these sixty poems attempt to stay close to the original text in rhythm and rhyme-scheme. The first lines of the poems, the incipits, are given as Occitan headings. Many dates and facts are conjectural, and so the order of the poets is somewhat arbitrary. The vidas, or biographies of the poets, which are highly unreliable although charming as legend, have not been translated but have been referred to where relevant.

Author Details

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Kline, A. S.

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