Themes of troubadours: “Lost sleep”.

Old Guitarist, Picasso

[Picture: Picasso painted the Old Guitarist in his Blue Period. I found this image in this french cultural blog]

I begin my survey of the themes used by the troubadours with the common topic of the Lover who can’t sleep, in consequence of the turbulences in his heart. This insomnia was before well described by the gazal poets.


1) Guilhem IX from Aquitania [quoted] :

per que mos cors non dorm ni ri,

]my heart can neither laugh nor rest[

William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, trans. James H. Donalson (from Provençal)

2) Arnaut Daniel:

el cor tan gen qe la nueg mi ressida

can autra gen dorm e pauz’e sojorna.

]Softly my heart when the night awakes me

and the people sleeps, breaks and rests.

Arnaut Daniel, Poesías. Ed. de Martín de Riquer (with Spanish trans.), Editorial El Acantilado / Quaderns Crema, 2004, p. 192.

In the two examples, the Poet uses the heart as a metonymy of his Will or Conscience. The fatality of this insomnia shows that the pain is well-accepted and that the courtly love covers the trends of the psychology till the Non Reason meadows of the Night.

Another translation for the verse of Guilhem IX


4 comentarios

Archivado bajo al-Andalus, anteUtopia, Borders, Literature's Theory, Picasso, Poetry, scenes

4 Respuestas a “Themes of troubadours: “Lost sleep”.

  1. How I wish I knew languages other than my own!

  2. Never too late…
    But don’t worry. It’s better to love one language than none.

  3. Esta pintura me
    gusto por los colores que la
    enbuelven y los gestos del dibujo
    al parecer toma vida junto con los

  4. me parese espetacular poder ver algo como esto es una gran obra


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