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Arnaut Daniel, “Sols sui qui sai lo sobrafan qe·m sortz” (BdT 29.18)

Author(s): Massimiliano De Conca

Journal: Lecturae Tropatorum
ISSN 1974-4374

Volume: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Arnaut Daniel | Troubadours | Old Occitan | Textual criticism | Interpretation

With the poem “Sols soi qui sai” Arnaut turns to lyric poetry proper, moving away from the other two compositions in the ‘ferm voler’ cycle (BdT 29.17 and 14). While in these two the rhetorical and metrical element is dominant to the detriment of content, “Sols soi qui sai” begins a series of courtly considerations and introduces poetical images destined to be reflected in the rest of the poet’s production. Not surprisingly it is a song of excess: metrical, stylistic and iconic. With this song Arnaut ceases to be a ‘joglar’ and becomes a true court poet, as he himself candidly declares in l. 15, destined to wander here and there, though intent on firmly maintaining his feelings for the lady who has every virtue. He will live thinking only of her and his life will hover between the compulsion to possess her, embarrassment in the face of perfect love and the humility of suffering his own inadequacy. This pleasant dilemma will translate into a continuous poetic experimentation, witness to an untamed soul that struggles, despite itself, to follow “mesura ni taill”.
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