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Peter Abelard’s Planctus ‘Dolorum solatium’: A New Song for David

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Chapter Summary

Peter Abelard's creative talent with reference to his planctus has been brought to the foreground by the sustained contemporary interest in Abelard as poet and musician. Indeed, each of Abelard's planctus is accompanied by musical notation and several scholars have considered these poems with regard to either the poetic form of the text itself and/or its music. But whether discussing poetic rhythms, musical notation, or even the relation of Abelard's planctus to other twelfth century developments in these areas, in the planctus we can trace Abelard's ingenium in one of its most sensitive and creative expressions as he encapsulates anew the desolation and finality of the loss rendered by death. His sense of a literal, historical reading is measured, of course, by a twelfth-century understanding of history both in terms of the events themselves, and the composition of the biblical record.

Keywords: biblical record; David; ingenium; Israel; Peter Abelard; planctus



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