And all the time igniting herself, like smoking wood

From Chretien De Troye’s Yvain – the narrator’s commentary on the lady Laudine’s self-justification for her feelings towards Yvain (her husband’s killer). The modelling of her internal dialogue – not quoted but lines ~1750-70 – is one of the highlights of the poem, as is this near-Homeric image below. The translation is Burton Raffel’s.



And so, by this same proof,
She found reason and right and wisdom,
And no need for her to hate him,
Ensuring herself what she wanted
And all the time igniting
Herself, like smoking wood,
Bursting into flame when it’s stirred,
Smouldering if no one blows it
Awake.

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