Paper 1 v2 - Chew 1 Vanessa Chew Adrienne Damiani German...

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Chew 1 Vanessa Chew Adrienne Damiani German R5A September 12, 2010 Heinrich von Morungen: Ich hôrt ûf der heide (I heard on the meadow) Medieval German courtly lyric, “Minnesang”, commonly portrays the struggles of a knight as he yearns for his lady love. Most Minnelieder of this time period deal with common themes and are expressed with preset ideals and descriptions. There are, of course, a few notable exceptions in each poem, and indeed it is these quirks that make the poem memorable. This essay explores the presence of both tropes and differences in the poem Ich hôrt ûf der heide (I heard on the meadow) by eminent Minnesanger Heinrich von Morungen. Upon first glance, the poem appears to be just one of many describing a knight pining for his lady. Springtime imagery is abundant, just as it is in its contemporaries. This is especially evident in the optimistic opening of the poem: “I heard on the meadow / bright voices and sweet tones /… / I found her in the dance, singing” (Morungen, 1-2, 6). The tone here is light and playful, with the heady rush of breaking out from bondage, evident in the imagery of the knight’s thoughts having “struggled and soared” (Morungen, 5) – and later: “free of sorrow, I danced too” (Morungen, 7). The flow and freedom of the knight’s thoughts are further developed by another key stylistic element also exploited by others of this tradition: rhythm. In the original High Middle German, each stanza has a defined number of syllables per line: 6-7-6-7-11-9-7. In addition, the longest lines are split into syllabic clusters: the fifth line of each stanza into 5-3-3, and the last 1
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Chew 2 line 4-3. In effect, the reader hears 6-7 / 6-7 / 5-3-3-9 / 4-3, as annotated below, with dashes representing short pauses and slashes representing longer breath marks: Ich hôrt ûf der heide lûte stimme und süezen klanc. / dâ von wart ich beide fröiden rich und trûrens kranc. / nâch der mîn gedanc sêre ranc unde swanc, díe vant ich ze tanze dâ si sanc. / âne leide ich dô spranc. / (Morungen, 1-7) This rhythmic device generates momentum for the poem, enhancing the perception of the rush of the knight’s feelings towards his lady. Unfortunately, most of this effect is lost in its English translation. Further analysis delves deeper into the characteristics of the knight’s love itself, removed
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2010 for the course GERMAN R5A taught by Professor Dobryden during the Fall '09 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Paper 1 v2 - Chew 1 Vanessa Chew Adrienne Damiani German...

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