Father's 88th Birthday-- Trobar and *Don't Believe Everything You Think*

This bumper sticker is on my mother's car, which I now drive. My father had one on his car also.

William Senior's birthday was a few days ago. Too bad we never worked this out before he died. My son & I tried to make the concept of original sin palatable to Poppy. He was only capable of seeing it as a way for the church to manipulate the masses. No doubt it is that. And a few days ago I forwarded from my brother a Christopher Hitchens lecture in which he blasts the Catholic Church ruthlessly in the presence of some Bishop. That might have surprised some of my freinds because I am defensive of peoples' operating systems. If you run on the Koran or the King James Bible, I'm not interested in messing with that and neither is Hitchens. But institutions quickly become corrupt and Hitchens' points are indisputable.

I now see so very plainly that "Don't Believe Everything You Think" is the same concept as original sin. The concept is protean, whack-a-mole.

The troubador poet Bernart de Ventadorn is getting at this in "Quant l'herba Fresq". It's a crazy wonderful poem and this translation by Pound does not include even half of the entire poem. The poem is a collection of arguments, some of which are mutually exclusive. I see this in rap, I think. Rap has much in common with Trobar--violence and *tenzone* (disputation for the sheer joy of exercising that muscle). Violence -- a man serves his wife's lover's heart, there's S&M, war is celebrated (especially in the poetry of Bertran de Born). It occurs to me to propose that Trobar and Rap are equally secular. So my father might have been a fan of both under other circumstances.

Ventadorn is dispelling the nay-saying of the one with whom he's infatuated by claiming it for himself? In the thrid stanza nature is called into doubt by the brain. Final stanza, he puts it on her -- it is her grace alone that can dispell his brain-besotted hesitancy.

That my poor words dare not arise,
Nor speech nor deeds my heart disclose.

He's not really short of words, is he?

There was some talk about my father. Was he an original thinker? Yes he was because he came to things on his own terms. He had blind spots, like me. I wish he did try to set down his Weltanschauung in writing, but he listened too much to his nay-saying brain. I'm the same way, which is why I sprint. When I sprint, I try to follow through on a single impulse and try to let it get down before the brain starts defiling it.

In action, Poppy was decisive, but respectful. We never doubted that he knew where he stood. In action the brain doesn't always have a chance to stop us.

Quant L'Herba Fresq
Bernart de Ventadorn

When grass starts green and flowers rise
Aleaf in garden and in close
And philomel in dulcet cries
And lifted notes his heart bestows.

Joy I've in him and in the flowers joy,
E'en joy in me have I yet more employ,
Hath joy in her in whom my joy is cast,
She is such joy as hath all joys o'erpast.

I love her so and so her prize,
I fear her and such thoughts oppose
That my poor words dare not arise,
Nor speech nor deeds my heart disclose.

And yet she knows the depth of my annoy
And, when she will, she will her grace employ;
For God's love, Love, put now our love to test
For time goes by and we here waste his best.

My setting of "Quant L'herba Fresq" is in this Convivencia playlist.

New York is a convivencia.
Atlanta is becoming a convivencia.
Austin is a convivencia under a red seige.
Portland is a convivencia under an antifa seige.

Henry covers this song. Maybe there's a bit of hermaneutics of suspicion -- a concept that Henry learned as an undergrad philosphy/English double major.

Poppy was a huge S&G fan.

I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies

My mind's distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you're asleep
And kiss you when you start your day

And a song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme

And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I

Share Post
Subscribe Now!