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'O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,

       Alone and palely loitering?

The sedge has withered from the lake,

       And no birds sing.' - John Keats, La Belle Dame Sans Merci


A bittersweet compressed journey through the ballad as sung in terms of courtly love. We will wander as the medieval troubadour through tapestry woods and silk rivers, learning the rhythm and lilt of the ballad form to find scenes of unrequited love, revenge by murder and infamous folkloric histories. Poetry and song combine as we listen to folk renditions by Anne Briggs and The Watersons alongside our reading and writing. 


This is a three week course. When you choose to buy this course, please contact us after purchase to arrange a time to begin which suits you: The first assignment is immediately available to you as a PDF and you can choose between annotated responses to your poems sent to you via email or live discussion via google hangouts.


(Painting 'Troubadour' by Remedios Varo)

Troubadour & Balladeer

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