Love Songs, Part II

Research is good. We usually look at the past through our own eyes and experience, and every once in a while a historian (we’ll call him “History Man”) will say, “Those people aren’t you, Sweet-cheeks. Those Medieval love songs that you are having such a hard time with AREN’T like love songs of today.”

“What?”

“No. Those guys had arranged marriages. They were stuck with whatever their parents had set up for them. These lyric poems are more along YOUR style of love.”

“You mean hopeless, unrequited, at an absurd distance, across insane age differences?”

“Yes, exactly. Is this or is this not you, ‘…poets of the Middle Ages would likely find our contemporary love rituals completely alien. Medieval desire…was expressed as an ideal to be constantly sought, but rarely attained.”

“Whoa. So you’re saying that not only is my sense of humor medieval but my view of love?”

“Yep. Feel better now? Ready to return to hopeless yearning and all that makes you so happily miserable?”

“Thank you History Man.”

You can read the rest of History Man’s thoughts here: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/february/valentine-medieval-desire-021113.html

7 thoughts on “Love Songs, Part II

  1. Remember that riddle about crawling on four, then two, then walking on three? Love and courtly love is like that. Infatuation, courtly desire, lust, “married love,” then… old/elder love, which could be “true” love. Just my theory. Imagine a former president and his wife married for 73 years. That’s a long courtship.

  2. Gothe had a love across an insane age gap. Didn’t work out for him.

    “The Sorrows of Werther” A book he wrote about unrequited and obsessive love. Caused a wave of suicides across Europe, it did.

    • I guess it depends what you mean by “work out.” Goethe wrote what is considered to be his best poem, “Marienbad Elegy” as a result and one of his funniest poems a few years later when his broken heart had healed and he got a grip on reality again.

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