Nodreix l’amor de pensaments i absència,

Here is a rather stoically pessimistic poem from Catalan poet Joan Maragall on the nature of love. I hope it does not reflect his real experience.

The poem is topped and tailed by the same two lines repeated, which gives a nice symmetry to the overall piece, but also seems to disqualify the possibility of evolution towards a more positive view of love. It is as if the poet is stuck with the experience of nourishing his love with absence, suffering, sighs, tears, and adoration from afar. He seems to be creating an ideal vision of his loved one which would be doomed to disappointment if he was physically with his lover.

Nodreix l’amor
(Joan Maragall )

Nodreix l’amor de pensaments i absència,
i així traurà meravellosa flor;
menysprea el pas de tota complacència
que no et vinga per via del dolor.
No esperis altre do que el de tes llàgrimes
ni vulles més consol que els teus sospirs:
la paraula millor la tens a l’ànima,
i el bes més dolç te’l daren els zèfirs.
Mai seria l’aimada en sa presència
com és ara en la teva adoració.
Nodreix l’amor de pensaments i absència,
i així traurà meravellosa flor.

From <;

I suppose this is somewhat in the tradition of mediaeval courtly romance, where the knight could only express his love by absenting himself from his lover for long periods in order to seek adventures and perform unlikely acts of heroism or foolhardiness. Like Don Quijote…

The Poetry Dude


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