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News From the Library

Ezra Pound and the Troubadours: The Hamilton College Connection

By Christian Goodwillie

February 1, 2014

Renowned performer and scholar of medieval music Anne Azéma, director of The Boston Camerata and AZIMAN, in conjunction with Director of Special Collections Christian Goodwillie, will present an illustrated lecture examining Ezra Pound's work with the troubadour repertoire on Saturday, February 15, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Azéma will perform some of the troubadour songs that were translated by Pound, and discuss what has been learned since his pioneering work.


Hamilton College Professor William P. Shephard was a pioneer in the translation of these works, and his enthusiasm for the repertoire ultimately inspired Ezra Pound, Class of 1905, to undertake his own translations, as well as early attempts to reconstruct the musical performance of the texts. During 1909 and 1910, Pound, studied troubadour manuscripts at the British Museum and undertook his first attempts at translating the poetry of Arnaut Daniel (fl. 1180-1200). In 1912, seven years after graduating from Hamilton, Pound embarked on a walking tour of Provence, hoping to visit many of the haunts of his favorite troubadour poets.

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