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This report is taken from PN Review 262, Volume 48 Number 2, November - December 2021.

A Play and a Poem
‘The Little Trobairitz’ (a School Play)
Sarah White

Scene: window of a castle in Die, department of Drôme, Provence
Time: early thirteenth century
The very young Countess of Día looks out the castle window and converses with her Uncle.



COUNTESS    Uncle, I’m beautiful, of good mind and lineage. I should marry a powerful lord, shouldn’t I?

UNCLE   I’m working on it, Niece – we’re deep in negotiations.

COUNTESS    With whom, Uncle and Guardian?

UNCLE    Lord Guilhem de Poitou.

COUNTESS    Guilhem the troubadour? Wonderful! She begins to sing:
     Farai un vers de dreit rien ...
     I’ll make a song from absolutely nothing
     ... composed while sleeping
     and on horseback...

UNCLE    That Guilhem died years ago, my dear. The Guilhem I’m talking to is his grandson. Other
     possibilities are his great-grandson, Guilhem, and his great-nephews, Guilhem and Guilhem. If they don’t
     work out, there’s a distant cousin also named...

COUNTESS    I see that Guilhem de Poitou is bound to be my husband. I think I’ll call him ‘Willy Nilly.’
     I wonder if I’ll love him. I would like to be in love when I’m married.

UNCLE        You will be, my dear, but not with Guilhem. You’ll love another knight – Lord Raimbaut
     d’Aurenga – whom you’ll meet at your wedding feast:

COUNTESS    Raimbaut, the troubadour? (sings)
     Ara resplan la flor inversa...
     Now the inverted flower blooms
     On rocky ledge, on hilly slope.
     What flower? Snow, ice, frozen
     Rains that burn, torment, ...


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