Portuguese poetry

Portuguese Poetry

Portuguese poetry

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History

The earliest Portuguese poetry (from 12th to 14th century) was produced in Galicia, today a Spanish province that shares some similarities with Portuguese culture. Like the troubadour culture in the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe, Galician-Portuguese poets sang the love for a woman, that often turned into personal insults, as she had hurt her lover's pride. However, this region produced a specific type of song, known as "cantigas de amigo" (songs of a friend). In these, the lyrical subject is always a woman (though the singer was male) talking about his friend (lover) from whom she has been separated - by war or other activities implied by the Reconquista. They discuss the loneliness that the woman feels. But some poems also project eroticism, or confess the lover's meeting in a secret place, often through a dialogue she has with her mother or with natural elements (such can maybe be considered a custom adapted from the pagan peoples in the region). Epic poetry was also produced, as was common in Romantic medieval regions (Gesta de D. Afonso Henriques, of unknown authorship).As the conquest and expansion of the Portuguese territory was made, poetry preserved some of these main characteristics - cantigas de amigo were written even by kings, like Dinis I. However, despite the lack of education, this period had its own changes - mainly due the changing status and cultural environment of the court.

But it was with the upspring of Renaissance that...
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