Medieval Quotes About Writing


I've been reading medieval poetry from Spain, which started out as research but soon turned into a pleasurable activity in its own rite.

These two pieces come from the poet Shem Tov Ardutiel (Santob De Carrión):

Writer, you hold a flame in your hand,
or is it the blade of a sword or a spear -
the tree of knowledge of good and evil,
or a staff to make wondrous signs appear.

Are there words enough in all of song
to praise the pen? Who else could bear
the burden of bringing back the past
and preserving it then as though with myrrh?

It has no ear with which it might hear,
or mouth with which to offer answers;
and yet the pen, in a single stroke,
at once does both - observes and remembers.


Sarah McCabe said…
Beautiful. I love those so much. I wish people still spoke and wrote like that.
Julius Cicero said…
Magnificent example. I love these readings because they inspire the most feral feeling of writing: the utter desire to create.
Crystal Collier said…
Ah, very nice. Observes and remembers. =) What will be left of us when we are gone but our words?
Deniz Bevan said…
I'm with you Sarah!

That's the perfect way to phrase it Julius - that's exactly the feeling they give me.

Thanks, Crystal. I just my words are worth leaving behind! Back to the editing...
Jillybean said…
Lovely, Deniz! I especially like the first one. Such nice imagery!
Zan Marie said…
Wonderful! Don't you love being involved in a pursuit that has a long history achievements. To be a writer is a calling. ; )
Holly Vance said…
I'm researching Las Vegas Mafia for my next project; you, Spanish Medieval poetry. Love it. And love the poems.
Vicki Tremper said…
Beautiful, powerful and true!
Naina Gupta said…
Great quotes. I love how the quotes about writing sound so poetic.
Beth said…
These are fantastic quotes! Sounds like you're having fun with your research.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thank you, Jill, Zan Marie, Holly, Vicki, Naina and Beth!

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