Monday, 14 June 2010

Poetry in the distance

The troubadours' theme of Amor de lonh, or distant love, has inspired more than its share of tiresome pining (cf Rostand's La Princesse Lointaine), but the American poet Sarah White uses Rudel's song Lanquan li jorn son lonc en mai as a starting point for an illuminating essay on 'the impact of far love on her own vocation, life, and poetry'. Her book, The Poem Has Reasons, is a beguiling mix of memoir, poetry and... I suppose you'd call it literary non-fiction. It's definitely worth a look; I'd go so far as to say that it's the most rewarding Rudel-related work I've come across. There's a downloadable PDF of it on the website of its publisher, Proem Press.