Marcoat was a minor Gascon troubadour and joglar who flourished in the mid twelfth century. He is often cited in connexion with Eleanor of Aquitaine and is placed in a hypothetical "school" of poetry which includes Bernart de Ventadorn, Marcabru, Cercamon, Jaufre Rudel, Peire Rogier, and Peire de Valeria among others.[1] Of all his works, only two sirventes survive: Mentre m'obri eis huisel and Una dirai, en Serra.[2]

Marcoat was an innovator building off the work of the contemporary Gascon Marcabru,[3] whose death he recalls in one of his works c. 1150.[4] Nonetheless his works are very simple, the stanzas being comppsed of three heptasyllables rhyming in the form AAB.[2] It was he who first used the term sirventes to describe his poems;[2] the word appears in both of his surviving works, twice in one:

Mentre m'obri eis huisel,
un sirventes escubel
en giteira inz s'arena
. . .
Mon serventes no val plus,
que faitz es de bos moz clus
apren lo, Domeing Sarena. [5]

The meaning of these verses is obscure, as he was an early practitioner of the trobar clus style.[3][6] According to himself, he wrote vers contradizentz (contradictory verses).[6] He was a model for the later troubadour Raimbaut d'Aurenga.[3]

Sources [ edit ]

  • Bloch, R. Howard. Etymologies and Genealogies: A Literary Anthropology of the French Middle Ages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983. ISBN 0-226-05982-0.
  • Chambers, Frank M. An Introduction to Old Provençal Versification. Diane Publishing, 1985. ISBN 0-87169-167-1.
  • Dejeanne, Jean-Marie-Lucien. "Marcoat." Annales du Midi, xv (1903).
  • Harvey, Ruth. "Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Troubadours." The World of Eleanor of Aquitaine: Literature and Society in Southern France between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, edd. Marcus Bull and Catherine Léglu. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005. ISBN 1-84383-114-7.
  • Léglu, Catherine. "Moral and satirical poetry." The Troubadours: An Introduction. edd. Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-521-57473-0.
  • Pfeffer, Wendy. Review of Suzanne Thiolier-Méjean, La Poétique des Troubadours: Trois Études sur le Sirventes, in Speculum, 72:1 (Jan., 1997), pp. 230–231.
  • Thiolier-Méjean, Suzanne. La poétique des troubadours: Trois études sur le sirventes. Paris: Presse de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1994.

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ Harvey, 102.
  2. ^ a b c Chambers, 90.
  3. ^ a b c Thiolier-Méjean, 114–123.
  4. ^ Léglu, 48.
  5. ^ Chambers, 91, from the poem Mentre m'obri eis huisel.
  6. ^ a b Bloch, 114.
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