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tenson (plural tensons)

  1. (poetry) A form of lyric poem used by troubadours in Provençal in which two voices present different sides of an argument, in alternate stanzas, lines, or groups of lines with identical structure.
    • 1976, Peire Rogier & ‎Derek E. T. Nicholson, The Poems of the Troubadour Peire Rogier, →ISBN, page 25:
      Kolsen himself (op. cit., II, p. 16) remarks that it seems surprising that, at this early stage in a career which dated only from about 1165 (cf. Jeanroy, op. cit. II, p. 51, note 2), Giraut should address his interlocutor, Raimbaut, in the familiar second person in contrast with his much more formal manner a few years later in the tenson on trobar clus, placed by Pattison shortly before Christmas, 1170 (op. cit., p. 23). One may wonder why Giraut should write his part of the tenson with such deference to Raimbaut if they had met and written together as early as 1166.
    • 1998, Rosemarie Potz McGerr, Chaucer's Open Books: Resistance to Closure in Medieval Discourse, →ISBN:
      Another type of medieval text that could highlight conflicting perspectives is the Provencal lyric form called the tenson. The tenson involves a dialogue between two voices that take turns discussing a subject, either in alternating stanzas or in two groups of stanzas that mirror each other in form. In most cases, the two halves of a tenson are attributed to different poets, who in effect engage in an exchange or debate that is then presented as a single work, creating a paradox of unity and difference, closure and inconclusiveness.
    • 2014, David Musgrave, Grotesque Anatomies: Menippean Satire since the Renaissance, →ISBN:
      In Gryll Grange, however, the tenson functions as the basis for the advancement of the plot (which is the production of an Aristophanic comedy) and characterises the continual debate between what is uttered (e.g the name Palestine Soup) and what is not uttered (the word-associational etymology that Dr. Opimian offers for the name).