Poetry at the Post: Falling in Love with the Cantigas de Santa Maria by Alfonso X

Alfonso X, El Sabio. Cantigas de Santa Maria: Núm. 10, «Rosa de beldad’e de parecer».

(From Lyrics of the Middle Ages, ed. James J. Wilhelm. NY: Garland Publ., 1990, 244.)

“Alfonso wrote or organized the Cantigas de Santa María, a collection of [427] poems in honor of the Virgin, often longish narratives relating her miracles. One of the most important music collections in the Middle Ages, the songs were often sung on pilgrimages. The text for this poem in Alvar-Beltrán, pp. 423-424; music, 441. For a tape of the Cantigas, Astrée E7707.”

Rose of roses and flower of flowers,
Lady of ladies, Lord of lords.
1.
Rose of beauty and fine appearance
And flower of happiness and pleasure,
lady of most merciful bearing,
And Lord for relieving all woes and cares;
Rose of roses and flower of flowers,
Lady of ladies, Lord of lords. Rosa das rosas e Fror das frores,
Dona das donas, Sennor das sennores.
1.
Rosa de beldad’ e de parecer
e Fror d’alegria e de prazer,
Dona en mui piadosa ser
Sennor en toller coitas e doores.
Rosa das rosas e Fror das frores,
Dona das donas, Sennor das sennores.

Alfonso X as a judge, from his Libro de los Dados,[2] completed ca. 1280
Alfonso X as a judge, from his Libro de los Dados,[2] completed ca. 1280
Check out this opportunity to learn more about Mester de Clerecía in El Paso, Texas this Fall.

“The Cleric’s Craft: Crossroads of Medieval Spanish Literature and Modern Critique” 

October 22-24, 2015
University of Texas El Paso

Why Mester de Clerecía in 2015?
The thirteenth century was a dynamic time in the Iberian Peninsula, as political and cultural changes were occurring throughout the realms that occupied what is now Spain and Portugal. Much of the literature of this period was learned in nature and composed by clerics, and although the works were read and studied individually from the time of composition, they did not see collective examination until the nineteenth century. It was in 1865 that the Spanish scholar Manuel Milà i Fontanals used the term “mester de clerecía” (the cleric’s craft) for the first time to refer to this learned literary production.

The study of the mester de clerecía is now 150 years old, and an international conference entitled “The Cleric’s Craft: Crossroads of Medieval Spanish Literature and Modern Critique” will be convened in 2015 to mark this important milestone, to reassess this literature and its study, as well as to chart new directions for the field.

For more info, watch this video.

Miniatures, Cantiga #35
Miniatures, Cantiga #35

And, here is a link to the music as played by Narcisco Yepes accompanied by the Trio Yepes.

UTEP Campus
UTEP Campus

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