Beniarjó, Kingdom of Valencia, Crown of Aragon
|Died||1459 (aged 61–62)
València, Kingdom of Valencia. Crown of Aragon
|Notable work(s)||Plena de Seny, Llir entre Cards, Amor, amor, Mon darrer bé, Oh, foll amor|
|Spouse(s)||Isabel Martorell (m. 1439–41), Joana Escorna (m. 1443–50)|
Ausiàs March (Valencian pronunciation: [awziˈaz ˈmaɾk]) (c. 1397 – March 3, 1459) was a medieval Valencian poet and knight from Gandia, Valencia. He is considered as one of the most important poets of the "Golden Century" (Segle d'or) of Valencian literature.
Not much is known of March's life. In 1413, the still-young March became head of his family—part of the Valencian petty nobility—upon the death of his father. From a very young age he took part in the expeditions that King Alfons el Magnànim carried out in the Mediterranean. After returning from these expeditions in 1427, he settled in Gandia. After this return, he would never again leave the region where he was born. March was twice married—first to Isabel Martorell (sister of the writer Joanot Martorell), and later to Joana Escorna.
In 1450, he moved from Gandia to Valencia. It was there that on March 3, 1459, he died. While March himself was buried in his family's chapel at the Valencia Cathedral. The two wives and the family of the poet are buried in the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba. Five illegitimate children but no legitimate heirs have been attributed to him.
Inheriting an easy fortune from his father, Pere March—the treasurer to the Duke of Gandia—and enjoying the powerful patronage of Charles of Viana, prince of Aragon, March was able to devote himself to poetical composition. He is an undisguised follower of Petrarch, carrying the imitation to such a point that he addressed his Cants d'amor (love songs) to a lady whom he professed to have seen first in church on Good Friday. So far as the difference of language allows, he reproduced the rhythmical cadences of his model, but this should be qualified as the medieval tradition of locus communis requested this following. This is something Petrarch himself did and it need not to be stressed. March is a very original and idiosyncratic poet. In the Cants de mort (death hymns) he touches a note of brooding sentiment peculiar to himself. It can be said that he developed Petrarch's rhetoric and used it for more inner psychological meditations, as other major poets like Camões and Shakespeare would.
March was one of the first poets to use the local vernacular, valencian, instead of the troubadour language, Occitan. His poems are marked by obscurity, a sometimes monotonous morbidity, and a conflicting battle between desire and morality, achieved at its apex in the great Cant Spiritual. He was fully entitled to the supremacy which he enjoyed among his contemporaries, and the success of his innovation no doubt encouraged Boscán to introduce the Italian metres into Castilian. His verses were transmitted in manuscript tradition until its first print edition in Catalan in 1543, but they had already become known through the Spanish translation in 1539.
- For a thorough treatment of imitatio, see Thomas M. Greene's The Light in Troy
- Four settings by Brudieu: Fantasiant, Amor a mi descobre. Si fos Amor substança rahonable. Lir entre carts, lo meu voler se tempra. Plena de seny, donau-me una crosta. on CD accompanying book, Magraner, Charles. Fantasiant, Música y poesía para Ausiàs March CDM 0927, Valencia 2009
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- "Auzias March". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ausiàs March.|
- Ausiàs March in the AELC (Association of Writers in the Catalan Language), (English) (Catalan) (Spanish)
- Ausiàs March in LletrA: Catalan Literature Online (Open University of Catalonia) (English) (Catalan) (Spanish)
- A key anthology translated to English by the Anglo-Catalan Society.
- Biography and some poems (English)
- Short biography and some pictures from Find A Grave
- English verse translations of poem I, poem IV, and poem XXVIII