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from THE SONGS OF RAIMBAUT D'AURENGA.

from THE SONGS OF RAIMBAUT D'AURENGA

   9.
   I see that the fine songs
   of the delicate, trembling
   little birds are growing louder
   and it's so sweet and fine to hear
   that I don't think I can live
   without writing a poem. So I start
   a cheerful new one.

   I see the rays of the
   fine white sun. They are hot,
   horrible, desiccating, relentless, and brutal.
   They shatter all my fine fantasies.
   But I do have one cheerful hope-to
   have fresh joy. My desire is not
   to crave a weak life.

   This new fine joy isn't clear to me
   but it isn't totally opaque either.
   It gives me the "soft sighs."
   I don't know whether my poem will help me
   win it or not. I fear that this life,
   where I love my baby and feel only moderate cheer,
   will last forever.

   My heart is fine
   and deeply depressed!
   I come to you half-bitter and half-happy,
   full and void of fine beginnings.
   One half of me is cheerful,
   the other sleepy and afraid
   of desire, barely alive.

   A hope so fine
   consumed me
   and shoved me into failure.
   My fear shows me that pleasure
   is worth more to the survivor
   than a quick hit. So my fear
   is tempered by cheerful desire.

   Your fine friend
   won't come near you,
   baby, or show you his face,
   even though his heart is stupidly yours.
   He doesn't even know if you are harsh or cheerful!
   He fears you so much
   he avoids you, and doesn't know how to live.

   A lover who doesn't fear
   their baby is not a fine lover,
   even if they are faithful
   and tell excellent lies. They should
   sweetly go become martyrs rather than live!
   Because there is no true love
   if there's not immense, cheerful terror.

   Ay! My fresh fine baby!
   You never lie.
   Baby, if I'm not clever enough
   to teach you what I want with words,
   I hope you will pity me, a cheerful
   moron. If you want me to stay
   alive, I can deal with a delay.

   Baby, you're the best thing alive.
   Even far away you bum me up without fire,
   and make me want to cheer up.

   Ay! You are so sweet and charming and cheerful.
   I can feel death coming close to me
   if you don't help me out with life.

translated by Brandon Brown

RAIMBAUT D'AURENGA (1147-1173) was the lord of Orange. He wrote poems in the troubadour milieu, of which thirty nine remain. He was a well-known poet in his short life, celebrated by his friends and other troubadours, and lived a decadent life before dying in a pandemic in 1173.

BRANDON BROWN'S most recent books are Work (Atelos) and The Four Seasons (Wonder). He lives in El Cerrito, California.

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Title Annotation:Poetry
Author:D'Aurenga, Raimbaut
Publication:The Brooklyn Rail
Article Type:Poem
Date:Dec 1, 2020
Words:461
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