Pound and the troubadours
Actes du Colloque de Brantôme en
Textes réunis par
ISBN : 2-85792-121-7
From his youth Pound was interested in the poetry of the Troubadours.
He studied them carefully, translated them, imitated and adapted their poems
and their poetic techniques, quoted them and wrote poems where they figured
either as his personae or as the major figures. He walked the roads of
France, exploring their landscapes and breathing the air out of “Provence”,
creating some of his finest early poems from this imaginative recreation of
life in “Provincia Deserta”. One of his first books, The Spirit of Romance,
was a study devoted to them. For Pound:
Any study of European
poetry is unsound if it does not commence with a study of that art in
Provence… If we are to understand that part of our civilisation which
is the art of verse, we must begin at the root, and that root is medieval.
The poetic art of Provence paved the way for the poetic art of Tuscany, and
to this Dante bears sufficient witness in the De vulgari eloquentia.
At the time of the 16th International Pound
Conference, which took place in Brantôme, in the country of
Arnaut Daniel, Arnaut de Mareuil and Bertran de Born, and which Pound
visited with T. S. Eliot in 1919, Pound scholars and Troubadours
specialists from around the world gathered together to explore some of
the relationships between Pound’s renovation of English poetry
and the poetry of his first masters, the Troubadours. For Pound tried,
in parts, to “resuscitate the dead art of poetry”, by
drawing on his extensive knowledge and inimitable understanding of
these outstanding XIIth century predecessors. A selection of
these contributions are presented in this volume.