Ars Metrica

Il virtuosismo metrico delle Cantigas de Santa María

This short es­say ex­plores the great tech­nic­al skills of the main po­et­ic work of King Alf­onso X, Can­ti­gas de Santa María, start­ing from the over­all ana­lys­is of the text met­ric­al pat­terns, es­pe­cially of the non- nar­rat­ive ones, a good part of which are a unique ex­ample in the Galician-Por­tuguese lyr­ic tra­di­tion, both re­li­gious and sec­u­lar. After this ac­know­ledge­ment in terms of met­ric­al vir­tu­os­ity, the es­say fo­cuses on the pat­tern and dis­tri­bu­tion of one hun­dred twenty-nine can­ti­gas in­cluded in the code TO —no­tori­ously the most re­cent of the four ex­ist­ing ma­nu­scripts, but also (ac­cord­ing to the pub­lish­er Mettmann) the one which de­rives dir­ectly from a copy of the ar­che­type— to sug­gest what the one hun­dred and three texts in the ori­gin­al col­lec­tion were like. The sur­vey shows the great vari­ety of met­ric­al pat­terns char­ac­ter­iz­ing the en­tire col­lec­tion which was par­tic­u­larly evid­ent in the first Mari­an col­lec­tion, with little con­tri­bu­tion from the con­tem­por­ary Galician and Oc­cit­an lyr­ic tra­di­tion, con­firm­ing the rigour and ori­gin­al­ity of the lit­er­ary pro­ject set up and car­ried on un­der the guid­ance of the poet-king Alf­onso X. Read more