Ronsard Rocks

Memory lane: I memorised this poem for French class in summer school, 1980. The following year I rediscovered the poem when studying Renaissance French poetry during senior year of high school, and also heard the haunting musical version for the first time from the local college chorale.

I don’t know why the last one says “anonymous.” The poem is “Ode à Cassandre” by Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585), and the musical version, usually known by the opening line “Allons voir si la rose,” was composed by Guillaume Costeley (1530-1606).

(Note: the singers aren’t incompetent speakers of French; they’re trying to capture the Renaissance pronunciation.)


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