The meaning of ira in Troubadour poetry
The meaning of Latin ira according to the dictionaries is ‘colère, courroux, violence, impétuosité, furie; anger, wrath, rage, ire, passion, indignation’. It is with this meaning that the word was integrated into the Romance languages or occurs as a learned derivative in other languages, ‘anger’, its only scientifically valid meaning, legitimized by common usage and hence to be accepted of necessity. There is no evidence that ira has been subject to semantic modification.
However, a second meaning, ‘tristesse, sadness’, has been imposed on ira in Troubadour poetry, arbitrarily so, for it did not develop organically from the use of the language. As a consequence, ‘sadness’ is not a universally accepted meaning, but merely facultative. While no author can escape the meaning ‘anger’ when saying ira, implication of the meaning ‘sadness’ cannot be taken for granted and therefore requires proof from the texts.
The only argument put forward in support of ‘sadness’ in the case of Troubadour poetry is manifestly of an extra-textual nature: the influential Thomas Aquinas is supposed to have marked the use of ira by the Troubadours with his doctrine on the meaning of this word, causing the poets to intend ‘sadness’ in certain cases.
Curiously enough it is by no means certain that Aquinas actually assigns the meaning ‘sadness’ to ira, for he states : ira causatur ex tristitia, which means that ira – ‘anger’ is in a causal relationship with separate tristitia – ‘sadness’, hence cannot mean ‘sadness’ itself.
The very absence of any argument taken from inside Troubadour texts is evidence that proof for ira meaning ‘sadness’ does not exist. If it did, it would have been made known a long time ago. To this can be added that scholars disagree among themselves, some saying ‘anger’ where others prefer ‘sadness’, a choice in accordance with subjective liking, or the individual scholar changing his mind in the course of the years, for the same text jumping from one meaning to the other – all of this in the absence of any argument drawn from the texts and therefore of any possibility to settle the difference on an irrefutable scholarly basis. As a result there is a discussion of hypotheses put forward by different scholars instead of actual elucidation of obscure texts.
In this context the notion of ‘amour courtois’, a term inexistent in Troubadour poetry, but applied to it, is essential. It designates a doctrine according to which the lover has to comply with a code of behaviour in order to be acceptable: polite, willing, obedient, submissive, controlled. Therefore he must not feel ‘anger’ towards the Lady, a condition which can materialize with the help of Aquinas and the resulting manipulation of ira = ‘sadness’, enough to make the old Romans and a few others laugh. In principle ‘amour courtois’ represents the Church’s view of love: safely contained within certain rules in the interest of society, all excesses of nature condemned. It testifies to the power of the Church of Rome that this meaning of ira, devoid of any basis in fact, has persisted in Provençal scholarship to the present day – without ever making its way into common usage.
Much as Aquinas puts ‘anger’ in close vicinity to ‘sadness’, allegedly to the point of designating with the one word ira two opposite emotions, the enormous difference in meaning between the two notions is evident, because using the one or the other makes a decisive difference to the lover’s characterization: the patient, submissive, passive lover, dependent on the Lady’s initiative on the one hand and on the other the lover who actively pursues his object and insists on right and reward after faithful service – has he not done everything she required him to do?- , if necessary in spite of her ‘no’. The ira-driven lover speaks the same language as his Lady, a language as grown, unaffected by the precepts of society. This is a clash of power-people as created who are in search of fin’ amors, a concept of love drastically different from that of ‘amour courtois’.
For the psychology involved in love, cf. Montaigne. (quotations available)
Violence in Troubadour poetry
If there is no evidence in the texts for ira meaning ‘sadness’, there certainly is a great deal of support for ‘anger’ as a driving power in the lover. Terms indicative of violence abound, ambiguous many of them, but any optional reference to violence avoided by ‘amour courtois’ – conscious translators, for example forsar, cometre, raubar, violar, pelejar, which can all be translated in one way or another, more or less harmless or aggressive. Scientifically both meanings must be considered, unless one of them can be shown in the texts to be the only appropriate one.
1.7-8 Dos cavalhs ai a ma selha ben e gen
Bon son e adreg per armas e valen
‘I have two horses for my saddle, good and noble
they are good and proper for arms and valiant’
The Poet expands the horse-metaphor by stressing the animals’ suitability for combat, which means that love is envisaged as an act of war, an act of violence, the ‘arms’ used being the relevant parts of the body.
v.10 Si.ls pogues adomesjar a mon talen – ‘If I could tame them to my liking’
The horses are a challenge for the Poet, on which he is working. adomesjar means imposing his will, with the implication of roughness or force.
He stays with the battle-metaphor by referring to his ‘armour’ as needed in combat, in the context of love.
v.12 Que miels for encavalguatz de nuill autr ome viven
‘For I would be better mounted than any living man’
Once he has subjected(!) the horses to his will, he will have the best possible service(!) from them, in terms of love. This means that he will impose himself by force in order to obtain the wanted object.
14-15 Mas aitan fer estranhez ha longuamen
Et es tan fers e salvatges que del bailar si defen
‘But she has been so proud and wild that she refuses the currycomb’. This means that the Lady refuses to be touched by her lover and that there is ‘taming’ work left to be done by him.
Again use of the horse-metaphor indicative of the act of love: estaca (6)- ‘tie, strap’, caval, palafrei (18) -‘horse, palfrey’.
The Poet addresses a ‘companion’ who must be present. Who is he? A close partner in the context of the poem, characterized by con as visible in companho.
The Poet is also in the company of a Lady who is complaining about rough treatment from three loutish ‘guards’, a treatment witnessed by the Poet, for he speaks of ‘news which I have heard and which I see’ (2) and later addresses and punishes the ‘guards’ (10), warning them that they will be the losers in the end, because the Lady will be obliged to resort to malvestatz -‘badness’ (15).
This means that the Poet has power over the ‘guards’ who for their part must have a vested interest in the Lady, they represent the unnamed husband and his right, while the Poet himself is aloof, views the scene and foretells the outcome.
Who are the three agents master-minded by the Poet and behaving aggressively to the Lady in the context of love, in the Poet’s presence? They must represent the Poet’s indomitable organs of love in quest of satisfaction, at their peril!
These are ‘guards’ employed by the husband, although this is not stated. The warning addressed to them should really be directed at the husband. As it is, the ‘guards’ ‘ own interest sounds at stake. What is the relationship between Poet, guards, husband?
If the ‘guards’ represent the Poet’s sexual organs, then the Poet must represent the husband. However, at the same time he is an outside onlooker.
The Poet must be several agents in one: on the one hand a lover blindly driven by his organs, wanting rightful satisfaction in the manner of a husband, aggressively pursuing the object of o far by vile means, so that the Lady complains, on the other hand viewing the scene from a higher vantage point as if not involved, yet active: vei (2), auzidas (2), dic (10), castei (10). As for the Lady, she is domna and con-object in one.
For the purposes of this investigation suffice it to note that the Lady suffers violence at the hands of an irate lover, of what kind is not known at this stage.
In-depth elucidation of the poem, of the relevance of all the components to love-making, can be done on the basis of consistent deconstruction, thus exhausting all possibilities of meaning given by words and letters, which will finally lead to vowel-language and access to further information.
Jeanroy does not provide a translation for this poem which, with its many references to con, he may have found untranslatable. Rough soldier’s language, it has been argued, equalling woman with con, the only part of interest, which would imply concrete dealings of corresponding roughness or violence.
Yet, con is essential for o far. It can be noted that the factual woman = con is distinct from respectful sidons (9). A case of two-in-one, as for the poet in poem 2: the importance of pure body, stressed by many occurrences of con, on the one hand and the Mistress of the dealings in love, master-minding them. More cannot be said on the basis of word-language alone.
The poem originates in an act of love as indicated by the horse-metaphor (5-6). The partners in love, the Poet and his Lady, are more than two. On the Poet’s side, apart from him, there is a strong presence of no,n with whom the Poet identifies: Non er de mi (2), – ‘Non was/ will be from me’, No sai (7) – ‘ I, No, know’, No suy (8) – ‘I am No’ (cf. paper on Non). On the side of the Lady, named as Amigua, there is reference to autra gen (2) – ‘another kindly girl’, in the same line as the first Non, and to a gensor e bellazor (35) – a ‘more kindly and more beautiful one’, ‘kindly sister and beautiful sister’, with whom the Poet has dealings. bella – ‘she fights‘ is indicative of violent action involving ‘sister’.
Indications are that all male elements added together culminate in the one agent, the Poet, while all female elements come together in the one Lady physically present with him.
This is in the logic of vowel-language whose many components are added together in order to produce the sum total of the message, the sum total of the human being involved with all the vowels just like the text.
Evidence of violence by the Poet:
In return for ‘turning’ honorable love the bad way’ – tornon a mals (6), as done by ‘ladies’ (3), ‘lady’ (7), the Poet envisages ‘burning’ her – cremar ab un tezo (11-12), like any heretic. This is potential violence in the extreme.
What does this mean in terms of love traditionally associated with heat and fire, it must be noted? An extreme, destructive happening involving heat. A punishment meted out to heretics, a topical simile which illustrates events involving lovers deviating from orthodox ways as laid down by the Church whose view on love (cf. Augustine on heterosexual love) wins the day because imposed by merciless destruction. This accords with the dan-theme pervading Troubadour poetry.
The peak of o reached at the price of irreparable loss. After o far comes a far which is the part of amor left to be done, advocated and wanted by the Church. What is Church in terms of love? The part of the body used for a far.
Rough language is indicative of absence of nice manners and presence of violence:
fotei – ‘fucked’.
Broken riding-equipment indicates destruction, which implies violence, of sexual organs (81-82), ostensibly the Poet’s. However, it stands to reason that his female partner’s organs also suffer by violent behaviour, even if not verbally stated.
Where word-language does no more than suggest or imply, vowel-language actually states that mos corretz e mos arnes (81-82) refers to the genitals of human beings as such, not to one or the other of them, male or female, the vowel-message being the same wherever the vowel occurs, be it in a male or in a female context. At this level, word-meanings, which are stepping-stones towards vowel-meanings, are irrelevant. All words are united by the vowels they carry and whose meaning, inherent in all words taken together, supersedes that of individual words, producingt new information from a unified, as opposed to segregated, context. Life is treated as a whole, not split up into parts.
fin’ amors, the only subject of vowel-language :
Each poem is the act of fin’ amors told by the Poet on the basis of his own active involvement, told in words, vowels and in addition by a textual arrangement which literally shows the sequence of events as given by vowel-language, for ex. the fact that o far comes before a far even in the text or at a certain stage vers, something ‘turned’ and corresponding to a physical organ. In this, the text can be likened to the physical being, inscribed as are in it all the steps that are taken, in due order, by man in the pursuit of love. Man the love-book. In popular language ‘reading in the book of love’ means ‘make love’.
v.20 Qu’atressi dey voler lor fi – ‘for likewise I must want their end’, ‘likewise’ referring to previously mentioned hostile action against the Poet. Bringing about somebody’s end means violence.
The Poet will take action, in response, against certain agents who are ‘attacking’ him – azauton (18), to the point of putting an end to their life. Who are the targeted?
Introduced by li pluzor(1), an undetermined plural, potentially indicative of male and female, plu zor or sor – ‘sister’, a frequently found monosyllabic word,
referred to in terms of good and bad : lo melhor / D’entre.ls malvatz(13-14),
specified as three in number : selh qui be.m di(15)
selh qui.m vol mal atressi(16)
selhuy qui.m ri(17)
tres supported by a-tres-si which gives the figure, repeated at v.20 where quatre is included in addition : quatre–tres-si.
The three listed are then summarily called pro(18), a positive designation including agents of opposite characteristics (ben 15, mal 16), who ‘attack’ – azauton(18) the Poet. This means that the Poet considers ‘attack’ and both ben and mal as positive.
As follows in the text/As a result, the Poet states his satisfaction : Conosc assatz – ‘I know enough’. This is the context of love and the more specific meaning of conoisser, ‘to know carnally’, makes sense. The line thus gives the message that the attack by the ‘valiant’ has proved beneficial to the Poet in the sense that they have provided him with ‘enough’ carnal knowledge, there is nothing left, he is satisfied, rassasié, and can next envisage putting an end to his helpers, an end which involves quatre – ‘four’ and at the same time brings them ‘comfort, joy’.
The figure three brings to mind poem 2 with its three loutish ‘guards’ aggressing the Lady, also Marcabru’s three ‘little dogs’ – ‘two’ and a ‘third’ (16.39-40 ed. Dejeanne) – with whom he is hunting in forbidden territory. Indications are that in the context of love all of these are the personified sexual organs who have their own independent life (cf. Montaigne’s frustration at the ‘indocile membre’), albeit dependent for their existence on the Poet. Once they have given entire satisfaction, the Poet wants their ‘end’ and their ‘solace’ in this order.
Once permanently out of action in the o far context, something of a comforting nature happens to them. The three are closely associated with a new element, a ‘fourth’ – quatre-tres-si which results from their demize. What happens, is indicated at 23-24 : bo mestier – ‘the good third messenger’, is so good, that non ‘fails’, commits a wrong, which means that the executive agent non – the Poet providing volition for the act (20) – becomes involved, after o far, with an a-characterized activity and this in a negative sense as given by the word-meaning, yet welcomed by the Poet.
48-49 : mestier occurs again. The Poet notes that it has been ‘changed’ – si.m fon camjatz,
confirmed by ‘her’ – elha who remarks, thus informing the reader : vostre datz son menudier – ‘your dice are small, slight, thin’ and then invites him to act a second time, with his ‘changed’ equipment (51-52), which he does: 58 empeis los datz – ‘I pushed in the dice’, commenting on his organs as being, two of them, ‘stone, valley, third’-related and the ‘third’ weighted by lead, a reference to a ‘change’ undergone, so that it becomes a different organ, for a different purpose, added to the existing three.
The second act takes place after Monpeslier (53) with its characteristic o far vowels oei as in soleil, which allows the conclusion that it represents a far, thus fulfilling the potential of amor as characterized by both a and o.
Violence : 35 E que.s gart en cort de parlar
‘And may he take care to speak in court / Villainaously’
The Poet issues an invitation to be verbally violent (cf. Tristan in Folie de Berne).
33 E coven li que sapch’ a far
34 Faigz avinens
35 E que.s gart en cort de parlar
‘And he should know how to do a / Deeds suitably a-wine-ens related / And may he take care to be burnt – g-art – in court, garden – c-ort -, so as to speak villainously’.
The verbal villainy is wanted. It is linked to a far and is achieved by means of preceding
gart en cort, a reference to ‘hot’ conditions during o far, amor, as given by the vowel-sequence in gart en cort.
19 Qual pro y auretz, dompna conja,
20 Si vostre amors mi deslonja
21 Per (Par) queus vulhatz metre monja
22 E sapchatz quar tan vos am
23 Tem que la dolors me ponja
24 Si no.m fatz dreg dels tort qu’ie.us clam.
‘You will get hot service, pretty Lady, / if your love makes me long, puts me at a distance / because you want to be a nun / and you must know, for I love you so much,/ I fear that the pain will spur me on / if you do not right the wrong of which I accuse you’.
The Poet threatens his Lady in veiled terms. He does not specify what he means by
cal pro, while the vowels state it clearly: sequence a-o for amor. This implies that he will not be put off, whatever she says or does.
She obviously rejects his advances, because she wants to be a ‘nun’, that is, live without love.
The Poet warns her: if she does not grant him his ‘right’, persisting in wronging him, his love will drive him on, he does not say to do what, but the word ‘fear’ implies unpleasantness on his part, against his will. Violence is in the offing, not excluding the Lady as an object.
What exactly the Poet wants is stated in no uncertain terms at v.24 : ‘I demand tort from you’, that is something ‘twisted, turned’ in conjunction with t-ort, the o-characterized ‘garden’ where he wants to be operational. The horse-metaphor is represented by reading tort from right to left : trot.
25 Per son joy pot malaut sanar
26 E per sa ira sas morir
27 E savis hom enfolezir
28 E belhs hom sa beutat mudar
29 E.l plus cortes vilanejar
30 E totz vilas encortezir.
‘With her joy she can make the ill man healthy / and with her anger make the healthy man die / and make the wise man into a fool / and change a handsome man’s beauty / and make the most courtly a villain / and make the whole villain courtly’.
On the one hand, the Lady is seen as ‘doing good’ in the moral sense and hence to be applauded by all and everyone (vv. 25 and 30).
On the other, and more prominently so, she acts under the impact of ira which causes her to indulge in ‘badness’ morally (vv.26-29).
Far from attracting her lover’s criticism for that, he, on the contrary, sums her up as a Lady of unsurpassable kindness, gentleness, distinction – gensor (31) – , which means that he fully approves of her irate dealings, in fact wants them. He therefore decides without asking her that he will ‘keep’ her, object-like, for his own egoistic reason: loving her will be in his interest because it will improve his health decisively:
33 A mos ops la vuelh retenir
34 Per lo cor dedins refrescar
35 E per la carn renovellar
36 Que no puesca envellezir.
‘I want to keep her for my needs / in order to refresh the heart inside / and in order to renew the flesh / that no, I may become old’.
If the Poet accepts his Lady as described and given the singular option in all cases, the indication is that the contents of stanza 5 apply to him, one and the same man showing different faces under her impact:
To begin with, the ‘ill’ person trusting in her ability to cure him.
Something then kindles her ‘anger’, so that she ‘kills’ the ‘healthy man’.
He shows himself as ‘wise’ and she drives him ‘mad’.
He is ‘handsome’, bel a form of belar – ‘I fight’, beutat, bel tat – ‘handsome blow’, all this in the context of love-making, linking the word beutat to the concrete activity rather than to general appearance, it means that the ‘change’ – mudar, m-u–dar – ‘give u’ affects the organs involved who are, of course, in command on this occasion (cf. sexual organs personified in poems II, VI).
Final philological proof will be provided by vowel-language which adds all the given detail together.
Likewise and logically so, all the different human features are added together to produce the picture of the one Lady and her lover, the two protagonists on the visible level who behave most unusually, it must be said, in two opposing ways: morally good and bad.
If the Lady is directly characterized by ira, the lover’s ira is implied in his determined language.
47 Mas elha.m deu mo mielhs triar
48 Pus sap qu’ab lieys ai a guerir.
‘But she must draw my best out of me / for she knows that I am to be cured by her’.
She ‘must’, like it or not. deu includes at the same time a reference to divinity.
ira contained in t-ria-r. The Lady’s activity includes participation of ‘anger’. What is to be understood by mielhs is unknown at this stage, certainly not ‘best’ in a moral sense, given that she accepts everything, whether morally good or bad (cf. stanza 5). It must be ‘best’ in the specific context of love, the achievement of something superlative, unsurpassable, for which she is indispensably instrumental. Drawing out the ‘best’ signals ‘healing’, from his obsession with love? This is an entirely new picture of the Lady.
13 La nostr amor vai enaissi
14 Com la branca de l’albespi
15 Qu’esta sobre l’arbre tremblan
16 La nuoit a la ploja ez al gel
17 Tro l’endeman que.l sols s’espan
18 Per las fueillas verz e.l ramel.
‘Our love goes like this / comparable to the hawthorn branch / which is trembling on the tree / at night in rain and frost / until next morning when the sun spreads out / amongst the green leaves on the branch’.
This sounds a strange description of love: trembling, as if afraid, having to suffer rain and frost – what is happening to it in the darkness of the night, to be relieved only with the appearance of the sun next morning?
19 Enquer me membra un mati
20 Que nos fezem de guerra fi
‘I still remember one morning / when we put an end to war’.
It must have been war, then, during the night, which means ‘anger’ on both sides, failing which there would not be war, but submission. The details of the proceedings ,‘rain, frost’, are left to be elucidated, as is the significance of the ‘tree’ metaphor.
The result of irate action in love is highly satisfying, judging by the robust closing statements of the poem (vv.21-30).
sa drudari e son anel – ‘her loving ways and her ring’
The difference between amors and drudari, difficult to seize by words, can be accurately explained in terms of vowels.
drudari contains ira from right to left as well as dur – ‘hard’. –u dar– refers to the giving of u.
Its meaning is linked to anel – ‘ring, anus’.
s-on an-el show the vowel-sequence first o, then a, which indicates the order of events in love-making, or amors taken from right to left.
The vowel e by itself at the centre of the line has a part yet to be identified. All we know is its shape and its presence in all pes-related words (cf. Thesis).
If the end or loss of ‘love’ – fin’ amor is alluded to, more or less visibly so at first sight, in several poems, for example
1.6 Greu si fa partir d’amor qui la trob a son talen – ‘it is grievous to part with love for him/her who finds it to his liking’
6.20 Qu’atressi dey voler lor fi – ‘I must likewise want their end’ (cf. comments on poem 6)
6.35 Descosselhatz – ‘de-conned’ = con taken away
6.48 no m’ac plus mestier – ‘I did not have a third messenger any more’,
the dire loss of love is the subject to which the entire poem XI is devoted.
Cf. Guiraut de Bornelh, quoted by L.T.Topsfield, Troubadours and Love, p.25:
Ar es morta bella foudatz
E iocx de datz
E dons e domneys oblidatz.
1 Pos de chantar m’es pres talentz
2 Farai un vers don sui dolenz
3 Mais non serai obedienz
4 En Peitau ni en Lemozi.
‘Since I feel like singing / I shall make a vers which gives me pain / never again shall I be obedient / in Peitau or Lemozi’.
Stanza 1 introduces the subject of the poem. Scholars agree that the Poet has ‘love’ in mind, even if the word as such does not occur. However, chantar as well as vers and obedienz are known from the love-context in other poems, as are the two local place-names which point to his personal and close environment. In-depth analysis of the stanza reveals among others the presence of pos, the ‘mountain in love’, and an ‘obedience’ linked to o and ben (cf. Thesis).
The Poet feels like ‘singing’ – chantars and therefore laments. At stake his departure from love, given that he will no longer obey its commands issued by the two named places.
This means that his current activity, chantars, a verb without o, but with twice a, has nothing to do with o far, but comes afterwards.
Explanations are given in great detail in the subsequent stanzas. The Poet develops the subject he introduces in st.1 by using similes from his own life. The relevance of these similes to o far and a far, the two activities relevant to amors in terms of vowels, is precisely to be explored.
5 Qu’era m’en irai en eisil
6 En gran paor, en gran peril
7 En guerra laissarai mon fil
8 E faran li mal siei vezi.
‘For now I shall go into exile / into great fear, into great peril / in war shall I leave my son / and his neighbours will harm him’.
Having announced in st.1 the end of his activity in o far, the Poet now spells out the consequences : going into ‘exile’, facing ‘great fear’ and ‘great peril’, his ‘son’ ‘left/lost in warfare’, which is followed by his neighbours harming him.
an unloved, unwanted, bad place, as opposed to the wanted good home-land, but to be accepted as a dire necessity in order to survive.
Translated in terms of ‘love’ – amor this means: the scene of action is the body and the wanted place o-characterized con, bon for o far. The unwanted but needed neighbouring place is characterized by a and the word anel (cf.10.22) as well as by mal in a line free from o (8), this exile an inevitable and indeed indispensable place because in terms of vowel-language amor is marked by both o and a, both vowels to be dealt with in an act which alone can be called ‘perfect’ and at the same time ‘final’, as indicated by the term fin amor,s. The last word of the stanza, vezi, equalling vez – penis to which is joined i, an invigorating factor, represents in terms of love the tool which in a line free from o is linked to a far.
It can be noted that paor (6) shows the same vowels as amor. ‘fear’ is thus seen to be closely linked to ‘love’, both meanings are represented at the same time, as well as the meanings of other words with the same constituents.
The fearful Poet is aware of ‘great danger’ – gran peril (6): he knows that he will ‘lose’ his ‘son in warfare’ (7) and that his ‘neighbours’ will be ‘bad’ to him (8). The word guerra is used in the love-contexte in another poem (10.20) where the lovers end their ‘warfare’ and the Lady gives him ‘her ring/anel’ (10.22).
What then is ‘son’ in the love-context? fil also means ‘cutting edge’, the sharp edge of the sword in war, which he ‘loses’ in the war of love, a reference to his natural, physical power-tool and to ‘damage’ and the loss of love widely alluded to, if not openly expressed as in the present case, throughout Troubadour poetry.
What happens next is the ‘neighbours’ s impact on this tool: it has to accept mal after bon/con, accept to be prepared for a after o, accept a ‘change’ in order to meet quite different conditions. camjar is another theme in the poetry, as found in poem 6 for example where he states what happens to his tool after un joc grossier – ‘a rough game’ (6.45): si.m fon camjatz (6.49) -’it was changed’, while ‘she’ makes a statement about this tool’s appearance: vostre dat son menudier (6.51) – ‘your dice are thin’, before inviting him to ‘play again’ (6.52).
9 Lo departirs m’es aitan grieus
10 Del seignoratge de Peitieus
11 En garda lais Folcon d’Angieus
12 Tota la terra e son cozi.
‘The departure is all the more gruesome to me / From the lording of Peitieus / I leave in the guardianship of Folcon d’Angieus / All the land and his cousin.’
9 lo departirs – ‘the o-departure’, a reference to o leaving / leaving o, the crucial factor in the term far o; without it no love-making;
10 as stated at vv.3-4, the ‘lording’ is one with respect to love;
11 first hemistich free from o, second hemistich: Folcon d’Angieus, a name with twice o .
Folcon invites deconstruction: fol con – ‘mad con/vagina’, con in an extreme state,
madness, an agent characterized as con-focussed to the point of madness;
dangieus: dan–g–ieu–s; ‘damage, I/ echo of dieu’ in the supporting company of a
dynamic occlusive, g, and a hissing dental, s;
12 tota l’a terra – ‘all the a-land’
e son cozi – ‘in his cousin’; prominent e at the beginning of the line characterizes ‘his
13 Si Folcos d’Angieus no.l secor
14 E.l reis de cui tenc m’onor
15 Faran li mal tut li plusor
16 Felon Gascon et Angevi.
‘If Folcos d’Angieus does not come to his rescue / And the king from whom I hold my honour/land / The majority of them will harm him / The treacherous Gascons and Angevis.’
13 Folcos recalls coz-i of the preceding line, himself a cousin without the i;
What is the difference between Fol con and Fol cos apart from grammar?
In vowel-language, virtually no difference, the dominating vowel for both monosyllabics
As for the meaning of this vowel, word-language must exploit if not exhaust
here as everywhere the difference given on its level in order to approach the vowel-
meaning : con – no–c, oc -‘vagina, no, lord (object case of en), cos – soc, os, oc
-‘bûche, sabot, bone, yes’, etc.’
In both the monosyllabics con and cos, the object at stake is co -‘vagina, con’,
incorporating oc, affirmation particle, and this wherever this vowel-consonant-group
occurs, in whatever word, be it in a male or in a female context which is essential for
the understanding of o.
Other discovered incorporated word-meanings, like no -‘lord’ linked to negation or soc,
as above, or no doubt others (cf. Bertran de Born’s oc e no), help to circumscribe and
thus to gradually approach the meaning of o and in the same way that of the other
vowels, of course.
The group co also occurs in se-co-r so that no.l secor is about an agent, no,
characterized by saying ‘no’, who ‘helps’ in a way which involves ‘con’ and ‘yes’ among
other things. To be elucidated!
d’Angieus – dan–ange–ieu–s–dieus; this term incorporates references to ‘damage, angel,
I, God’ among others, meanings which descxribe the Poet’s situation in the context of
no.l secor – ‘no comes to his aid’ in circumstances characterized by lon -‘long, far’ (cf.
Rudel), sec -‘dry, blind’, ces -‘tax’ etc., cor -‘heart, body’, roc -‘rock’ , co, oc and others;
all this in an o-dominated context of love.
14 Who is reis in the context of love, the agent who invested him with his land?
The word itself gives information: re–i–s -‘kidney’ in the company of i, eis – ‘I issue forth,
come forward, out’, ser -‘evening, summit’, se -‘seat’. All these elements are relevant to
15 Faran li mal tut li plusor cf.v.8 E faran li mal siei vezi
Both times the Poet expresses his conviction that his fil will come to harm at the hands
of his environment referred to as vezi(8), li plusor(15) and felon Gascon et Angevi(16).
For thye meaning of vezi cf. comments on v.8.
The meaning of plusor can be approached in the same analytical way: li expresses the
vicinity of i to plusor – plu-sor–lus–or and others which in addition to the conventional
meaning ‘plupart’ contains references to a female agent, ‘sister’, in the company of ‘light’
and other meanings revealed by deconstruction. A dangerous female agent fits into a
context of love and fighting (cf. red-cat poem 5).
16 The neighbours are named gas con -‘con destroyers’, ‘I destroy con’ with the vowel–
sequence of amor, preceded by the qualifier felon –fe lon, fel on – ‘long faith, bile to do
with on – no meaning ‘human being (both sexes) in the form of the agent no
characterized by negation,
and ange vi who are free from o and linked to ‘angel’ and ‘wine’, also an ge vi -‘they
have ge/eg wine’. an reversed is na, another reference to a female participant.
These agents, too, are summed up as ‘treacherous’, they cooperate with the gascon in
view of ‘harming’ the Poet’s fil with the physical implication of ‘bile’ (coming from the
Investigation of i, ira in poem 5 (cf. Thesis, p. 215)
The only scientifically valid meaning of ira is ‘anger’ (cf. Latin and all Romance languages as well as derivatives of ira in other languages).
The uncertain use by scholars of another meaning attributed to this word in the one specific case of Troubadour poetry, ‘sadness’, is sufficient evidence of a missing scientific basis for this meaning, the only argument in favour being that the influential Thomas Aquinas used ira in this sense.
However, even if Aquinas did – he associates the notions of ‘anger’ and ‘sadness’ without actually stating that the one word ira represents these two meanings -, the onus is on scholars to prove from the texts that the Troubadours, contrary to common usage and in spite of the fact that these poets lived in an environment opposed to the doctrines of the Church of Rome, intended this meaning in addition to that of ‘anger’. Such proof obviously does not exist. The second imputed meaning must therefore be called a pure assertion due to influence from outside the poetry, an assertion of consequence, for a wrong translation of ira falsifies the poetic message at the very basis. (for detailed argument, cf. my paper on ira).
Short ira is dominated by the vowels i and a which are essential to evoke the word.
Understanding ira by exhausting all given possibilities of meaning (deconstruction) :
ira itself makes a statement about i : ‘i razes’ .
This means that i is linked to destructive action, which is compatible with anger.
In addition there is a statement about a : ir a – ‘go to a’.
This means that a is accessible with the help of i and in the presence of anger.
ira is also linked to the meanings air – ‘air, hate’ and rai – ‘ray, sunbeam, jet of water; he, she razes’.
v.1 farai, mi, sonelh
fa rai, fa ira – ‘he, she makes sunbeam, jet etc., anger’. ira incorporated from right to left.
Indication of a connection with ‘sun’ confirmed in v.2 by the presence of solelh which in terms of vowel-language is identical with sonelh, v.1, with which it rhymes.
mi, the poet who is entirely characterized by i and in this state reviews his experience, or affair, with the women.
v.3 i a
Two one-vowel words which convey at the same time word- and vowel-meaning, by themselves or jointly evoking ira.
Anger is indicative of violence. It is followed by mal, whose sense is compatible with ira, and by con selh preceded by mal and thus in its immediate neighbourhood.
mal con shows vowel-sequence a-o as in amor. This means that amor is complete, when con is preceded by mal, o preceded by a.
v.4 E sai dir cals
The line begins with a single capital E, a common feature of Troubadour poetry (several occurrences in this poem).
The verb dir with its different forms is a particularly suitable carrier of i, respectively ira. In the present case the activity is entirely i-characterized which signifies a manifestation of the agent Qui (cf. Thesis, p.442) affecting the lovers. ira then materializes with the a of cals – ‘ heat’. The line expresses i-inspired activity resulting in heat and ira in the context of love.
Description of line-content : ‘And I can say heat’, which means that preceding E and the poet’s i-inspired activity bring about ira and heat.
In other words : The sense of dir, the i-activity linked to E and sai – ‘here’, is to contribute decisively to the formation of ira by combining i with a in a ‘hot’ environment which must be the physical one.
NB absence of o. Absence of this vowel from entire lines is another commonly observed
v.10 Non a raizo – ‘he, she has no reason’
‘Non has raizo’
The agent Non (Thesis, p.155ff.) has a tool characterized by the meanings inherent in rai, an angry razing tool impacting o. rai s’o may mean ‘he, she razes her, his o’, implying mutual destructive action. This may be a clue to the frequently met theme of dan – ‘damage’ or perdre – ‘loss’, damage to or loss of o.
Certainly the following two lines point in this direction:
v.11 Per dreg – ‘I, he, she lose,s right’ – la deuri’om cremar – ‘she should be burnt’
V-c-groups er, eg (veg) address the sexual tool which is associated with ‘right’ and is ‘lost’.
Physical loss would obviously be implied in the envisaged ‘burning’.
v.12 Ab un tezo – ‘with a burning piece of wood’.
A striking singular – what is meant?
ez-group evokes vez, one of the many variants for the designation of penis. tezo, tez’o a tool, in relation to o, driven by powerful desire. tes – ‘width, thickness’, a quality of the tool. tezon also has pig-related meanings.
v.15 Trobei la moller d’en Guari
Strong o-environment with the vowel-sequence of soleil (cf. Thesis, p. 284ff.) at the beginning: Trobei, followed by amor as given by la moller. In terms of vowel-language this part of the line is about o far, an activity implied, but not expressed, in conventional language by the word moller.
The name, which can be translated as ‘cured, rescued’, contains ira from right to left:
a man characterized by ira and guan, gan -‘glove’, a garment to be slipped on, preceded by den -‘tooth; inside’, both meanings to be seen in the context of love. A husband given to ‘fury’ where his ‘wife’ s ‘inside’, that is, his very own ‘glove’, is concerned.
Absence of o from second hemistich, ‘inside’ marked by e, en, ‘glove’ by a (not o);
a ‘glove’ for a far, not o far (two separate activities determined by their respective vowel), the distinctive vowel of guan, a, being the second vowel, right to left, of the word amor.
The first hemistich tells about o far, while the second, in the absence of o, relates to a far, the other vowel of the word amor.
The text shows o far before a far, its very arrangement exposing the vowel-message that in the practice of amor this is the order of events.
In this logic, the text corresponds to physical body because it actually shows, makes visible, the sequence of events. The order given in the written text, or book, is the order in which body deals with the given elements: first the second vowel of amor, o. As a result a necessarily and automatically comes second.
This confirms findings about the vowel-sequence affecting the full potential of amor, namely o-a, which materializes by reading amor from right to left. Doing ‘right’ – dreit, a leading theme throughout Troubadour poetry, first, means that ‘left’ , that is a, must follow.
Cf. vv.4-6 of this poem:
v.4 E sai dir cals
v.5 Cellas c’amor de cavalier
v.6 Tornon a mals
v.4 refers to irate, hot women associated by the poet not with o, but with a (absence of o);
v.5 they do something to knightly amor, the lead-theme at the centre of the line:
v.6 tornon is an entirely o-characterized activity involving ‘turning’ (cf. meaning of vers);
deconstruction: torn on – ‘turning in respect of on, con, bon, no’, tor non – ‘tower
concerning on, con, bon, non’,
‘tower’ in the context of love must be the tool; non is the agent (cf. Thesis); ort non –
‘non’s garden’, that is, con, the latter being the scene of ‘tower’-activity.
Twice o is followed by twice a.
After intense and exclusive o-activity the women administer a exclusively.
a mals gives information about a: it is the characteristic vowel of mal, just as o is the one
In accordance with language based on the meaning of words, the women’s o, con, bon activity is desirable: o far, meaning penetration of o-characterized con, is wanted.
Language based on the meaning of vowels can explain by referring to the close link between con and bon. Humans would generally want bon.
The women’s a, mals activity by contrast is not wanted: a far, meaning penetration of
a, mal-characterized anel – ‘ring, anus’, the ‘nearby’ – pres, a lead-word with primary open e – body orifice corresponding to con, is generally detested because associated with mal.
In common practice o far is the only acceptable part of love, while a far is generally unacceptable. Yet, for a ‘perfect, true’ act of love – fin amors – both are needed. The incentive for trying to reach such an act at the price of great suffering (cf. Troubadours) remains to be seen.
The poet is involved with two women who, in quest of love’s full potential, are aware of the need to do both, informed as they are by the word amor precisely characterized by both vowels and they proceed accordingly. They deal with o first and this in a way which leads to a. Again o-a sequence shown in the text. Just what happens practically is explained in the subsequent stanzas.
o far is not carried out for its own sake, as is the case in common practice, but because it is a dire necessity, precondition to the reaching of a, the poet’s real object.
The vowel i
The achieving of o, con, bon, and of the resultant joi, requires the participation of i.
This vowel is present in a largely unidentifiable agent entirely characterized by it who imparts the i to the poet and the domna : the agent qui contributes to the formation of ira and thus is decisive for reaching o first, forming joi, and then a, mal,s.
What is the significance of mal,s? The word itself gives information. Read from right to left it yields lam – ‘éclair, foudre, marécage, lame de mer’, but also sal – ‘salut, sécurité’, an existential issue by any philosophy, not least in the Bible. ‘éclair’ may be a reference to the tool with which to achieve a, while ‘marécage’ would say something about the environment that has to be mastered. Investigation so far would indicate that these meanings are relevant to the context.
Vowel i and its meaning participates visibly in all words with i, particularly in monosyllabics
entirely characterized by it, words like mi, si, ni, whose function it is to show the presence of i-impact in the actors of the drama, as is clear at first sight in ieu.
i cooperates with a in the form of ira, an emotion decisive for the nature of the acts involved, anger implying absence of courtliness or submission by the lover. This is obvious from the outset, provided ira is translated correctly and numerous supporting indications of violence in the context of love duly acknowledged.
cf. RdA’s poem 20; Thesis, p.381
cf. frequent use of ambiguous words like rapar, rapir, violar, pelejar, cometre, conoisser, coa, pel, vetz and others.
v.17 Saluderon mi simplamentz
Prominently at the centre twice mi: left to right and right to left.
The poet is taken over by i.
mis or mes, incorporating mi or me, meaning ‘messenger, dish, harvest, month’.
pla – ‘flat’, a monosyllabic informing about a.
mena – measure of length (Thesis, p.242); a reference to a long tool, supported by
dental effect tz (enz, vetz) at the end.
saluderon, a plural, which means that the poet’s ‘salvation’ will be worked by the two
women, with ‘God’ s help (v.20).
u deron – ‘they raise up u’, a helpful activity, to be investigated at a later stage.
v.29 Barbariol, barbariol
ira from right to left, combined with preceding o, ol.
ira from right to left, combined with preceding a, an.
Conclusion: ira occurs with both o far and a far.
v.39 Sapchatz qu’a mi fo bon e bel
i conspicuously placed at line-centre between three times a on the left and twice o
and twice e on the right. The i-dominated poet is thus at the centre of a (m) o (r), fully
involved with both vowels.
v.65 La una.l tira del costat – ‘the one pulls it along the side’
v.68 Tira.l gat et el escoissen – ‘pulls the cat and it scratches’
65 ira at the centre, with a and o on the left/right. The end-word costat has o-a seq.
68 ira at the beginning of the line, with a-characterized gat next to it and further away
the vowels o i e – soleil which occur with o far.