trobar clus

   Trobar clus is a style of TROUBADOUR poetry that is characterized by deliberate obscurity, metrical complexity, allusive and difficult language, and intricacy of rhyme schemes. It is a closed or hermetic style of writing practiced by poets who wished to communicate mainly with those in the courtly audience they deemed intelligent, initiated, and therefore worthy of the troubadour’s song. The term combines the Provençal words trobar, or the composition of poetry, and clus, meaning “closed.” The invention of the trobar clus style is often credited to the early 12th-century Provençal poet MARCABRU, though the term was not known in his time. The attitude toward the audience implied by the style goes back even further to the first troubadour, WILLIAM IX, duke of Aquitaine, who ends one of his poems with the comment:
   Concerning this vers, I tell you a man is all the more noble
   As he understands it, and gets more praise
   (Goldin 1973, 39, ll. 37–38)
   But RAIMBAUT D’ORANGE is probably the key figure in the development and definition of the trobar clus style. In a famous TENSO, or DEBATE POEM, with his contemporary GIRAUT DE BORNELH, concerning the relative merits of different poetic styles, Raimbaut defends his use of the clus style by saying that many among his listeners are uneducated, and that to write in a style that pleases all of them would be to lower his standards:
   I do not want my songs turned
   into such a lot of noise; . . .
   fools will never
   be able to praise them,
   for such have no taste and no concern
   for the worthiest and most precious things.
   (Goldin 1973, 203, ll. 15–21)
   It was a matter of pride, then, for the poet to write in a style inaccessible to the vulgar. Giraut, on the other hand, defends the easier style called the TROBAR LEU. In a study of troubadour eloquence, Paterson generalizes that, after looking at what a number of the troubadours actually say about trobar clus, it is impossible to give a very specific definition of the style: “trobar clus is flexible and treated differently by different poets” (Paterson 1975, 93). But the exclusive nature of the verse was influential on DANTE, who speaks with Arnaut Daniel in the Purgatorio, and on later poets like Pound and Eliot.
   ■ Goldin, Frederick, ed. and trans. Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouvères: An Anthology and a History. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1973.
   ■ Paterson, Linda M. Troubadours and Eloquence. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975.

Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Trobar clus — Trobar clus, or closed form, was the style of poetry used by troubadours for their more discerning audiences, and it was only truly appreciated by an elite few. It was developed extensively by Marcabru, but by 1200 its inaccessibility led to its… …   Wikipedia

  • Trobar clus — La forme trobar clus est un art poétique développé par les troubadours (langue d oc) du XIIe siècle. Elle consiste essentiellement en une recherche de l hermétisme, par conséquent accessible seulement à un public cultivé. Un des principaux… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • trobar clus — tro·bàr clùs loc.s.m.inv. TS lett. 1. stile di alcuni trovatori provenzali volutamente ermetico e oscuro, con parole e strutture difficili e rare, spesso come segno di impegno morale o di polemica 2. estens., stile ermetico nella poesia di altre… …   Dizionario italiano

  • trobar clus — /troh bahr kloohs / a complex and obscure style of writing adopted by some 12th century Provençal poets. [ < Pr: lit., closed composition] * * * …   Universalium

  • trobar clus — /troh bahr kloohs / a complex and obscure style of writing adopted by some 12th century Provençal poets. [ < Pr: lit., closed composition] …   Useful english dictionary

  • trobar ric — (trobar car, trobar prim)    The term trobar ric describes a style of TROUBADOUR poetry that made use of elaborate technical contrivances and ornate language, but whose sense was clear to the audience. The phrase combines the Provençal trobar… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • trobar leu —    Trobar leu was a style of TROUBADOUR poetry that was characterized by simple, natural, and accessible diction and relatively simple verse forms. It was a style intended to appeal to the broadest possible audience. The term comes from the… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Trobar ric — The trobar ric, or rich form of poetry, was a trobadour style.It was distinguished by its verbal gymnastics; its best exponent was Arnaut Daniel. Despite the fact that it outlasted trobar clus it always played a secondary role to trobar… …   Wikipedia

  • Trobar leu — The trobar leu, or light style of poetry, was the most popular style used by the troubadours. Its accessibility gave it a wide audience, though modern readers may find its somewhat formulaic nature tiresome after a also*trobar ric… …   Wikipedia

  • trobar leu — tro·bàr lèu loc.s.m.inv. TS lett. stile accessibile e piano dei trovatori provenzali che rifiutavano polemicamente il trobar clus {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1952. ETIMO: dal provenz. ant. trobar leu propr. poetare facile …   Dizionario italiano

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