Essay about High Minne

Submitted By Winston-Sinclair
Words: 853
Pages: 4

This poem takes a rather interesting twist, while not being High Minne is certainly has its few little quirks that separates it from that genre of love song/poetry that other’s have exhibited. Still it does seem to keep true to some other key components of a High Minne piece. The unattainable lady for instance is a driving theme in this piece by Walther von der Vogehueide. Though it’s not mention in the first stanza it’s becomes quite clear that our speaker is in love with a woman who is held far above his head, only in this case it seems to be him that has put her there rather than her being naturally unattainable. Which would mean that she might not be the “lady” we’re accustomed to in classic high minne pieces and she could indeed be a common woman that tends to the manor but has been able to capture this minstrel or knight’s heart. Though we are uncertain of what roll our speaker takes, though service is mentioned in the last verse. Along with the unattainable woman we have an egregious amount of suffering, which we the reader are made clear of in the very first verse, “I shall sing and make up words and do what they desire; then they must lament my grief.” The first verse is a peculiar one in of itself as it almost seems like there’s a lack of modesty in our speaker as he almost seems to be bragging about being dragged by into songwriting and singing, though he needs to do so in order to eat as he’s not an active knight. But pushing past that it seems as that in his own drive to make a certain woman his lover he boosted her up to such a high place that not even he can reach her and for that he suffers. He can’t even get her to look at him so much as talk to her and yet he continues to sing and boost her esteem even further. The suffering is a very strong theme and it’s rather clear that it could be so easily broken should she return some kind of affection. He makes it sound like it’s almost physical torment that he’s going through just from being in love. Of course there’s little to absolutely no description of our fair lady only that she herself is someone much higher that he and is essentially holding his life in her hands and in another sense her own fate depending on what she does with his heart. “if she frees me from this distress, her life receives the glory of my life; if I perish, she is dead.” Which could only mean if she makes him suffer to a point where he either grows tired of her and abandons his ways that she herself would soon be in that same position or should he somehow managed to die from a broken heart that she too would somehow suffer a similar fate. The stanza before it stated, “Lord what curses she’d endure, were I know to stop my song! All those who praise her now, I know they’ll rebuke her then--against my will.” That however brings up a new sort of topic,…