Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stanford scholar finds the origins of Western poetry in troubadours’ songs

Stanford Assistant Professor Marisa Galvez has written a book about medieval songbooks, pointing to troubadours as the models for modern poets.

The poem can seem like a timeless art form. When we talk about the poetry of nature or dance, we’re referring to a primeval form of language – it’s as if verse existed before other words even made it on the scene.

But, in reality, the European poem as we know it was invented, and fairly recently, too. What we in the West think of as poetry is largely the result of 12th-century troubadours and their controversial insistence on singing about the profane.

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