Saturday, February 01, 2014

Love from afar?

Laura Kendrick in her book The Game of Love: Troubadour wordplay, makes the point that medieval readers in  paying more attention to the sound of words than their spelling could create compositions with multiple meanings. For instance, here is a translation of a poem by Jaufre Rudel that acknowledges an ambiguity in the interpretation of de loing/ del oing.
He speaks the truth who calls me covetous
And  desirous of love from afar [and, of the ointment],
For no other joy pleases me so much
As enjoyment of love from afar [and, of the ointment];
But what I want is so hateful to me,
For thus did my godfather fix as my fate
That I should love and not be loved

1 comment:

  1. Either love from afar or the ointment, eh? That's a tough choice :)