In our constant effort to expand your horizons and challenge your minds, I have uncovered another form that may be new (or unheard of) but dates back to days of old when knights were bold.

The MINNESANG (Middle High German – minne = love) is a courtly love poem. But it was usually depicting unrequited love. The verse was cultivated by the nobility, and often built around the theme of a brave knight’s attempt to court a lady who doesn’t return his favor.

The Minnesang was meant to be sung but the melodies were not well documented and mostly only lyrics are left.

The defining features of the Minnesang are:

See Poetry Magnum Opus:




You’d speak my name, my heart would pulse and pound.
Your smile made my own grow wider still.
I had to force my feet to stay aground,
A grueling task, for how to mask my thrill?
I had a crush on you, as crushes go.
You gave me notice, but you had no desire to be my beau.

 Your eyes were focused on my friend Elaine,
You wanted me to point her to your heart
I did your bidding, though it caused me pain
You took my heart, and yanked it all apart.
I’m sure you didn’t realize how it hurt
I never revealed my crush.  I’d never learned to flirt.

Copyright © – Marie Elena Good – 2012



I used to think this kind of love
was like a game of give and take.
It seems to me you need a shove,
that tells me that’s my first mistake.
So I stand here, my head is bowed,
my heart is covered quite completely by this heavy shroud. 

I never thought that love would die,
but I’ve been wrong a time before.
It saddens me, my fervent cry
has cut so deeply to my core.
And so we’re through, if you can’t tell.
I wish to say quite frankly dear,  that you can go to hell!

Copyright © – Walter J. Wojtanik 2012

Robert Lee Brewer’s prompt is up as well.  He asks us to write a “sudden” poem.  Can you write a sudden Minnesang?  Hmmm ….


  1. walt – you are really rough on that poor girl! 🙂

    This form is set to be a challenge. You both gave us a great start.

    • Marie, I believe that unrequited love should be a prerequesite of finding lasting love later in life, because it makes you so much more aware of the necessity to be demonstrative with your affection. I’m backing up this statement with my 10+ years of real-life experience with unrequited love 🙂
      Marjory is right, Walt – you are pretty rough on that poor girl, regardless of whether she deserves that shove 🙂

  2. “Minnesang”

    My eyes are filled with tears and in disgrace
    My lady shows her love in strong disguise.
    She cast a dismal eye upon my face
    My loyalty to her staunchly survive.
    She cast a loving glance upon my horse.
    And now my horse is traitor to my course.

    Oh, earth will groan, complain a lesser berth.
    The space our love fills overwhelms the skies.
    My love is so much larger than this earth
    My lady looks askance at all my lies
    Pretends my steed a weak competitor
    He neighs and tilts his eyes to lady more.

    I journey from the town of Mantua.
    My name is Don Quixote, from afar.

    • Jacqueline, I like your rendition of Don Quixote’s predicament. When I was “freshly in love”, I sometimes had the feeling that the world would burst with the intensity of my feelings – you expressed that sentiment so well in the second stanza: “Oh, earth will groan, complain a lesser berth. / The space our love fills overwhelms the skies.” I also like the way you handled the role of Don Quixote’s horse in this poem 🙂

  3. Here’s my attempt:

    Dein echtes Minnelied

    Upon a dank and withered road,
    our footsteps crossed for a scant mile –
    you stumbled on my heart’s abode
    and scattered music through your smile.
    With lucent harp against my knee,
    my voice was made to string you songs
    from sea to glist’ning sea.

    Entranced by wisps of your hard gaze,
    I severed all my wordly ties
    to plant stray roots of secret praise
    and wait for lustrous trees to rise.
    I’d bind their branches to my glee
    and sway their manes along my song
    from sea to glist’ning sea.

    Though unversed men may pass me by
    and find me no room in their homes,
    have time’s waves cast me far and high,
    mislay my name ‘twixt dusty tomes,
    if fragments of these songs flow free
    my joy shall blossom through each cloud
    from sea to glist’ning sea.

    © Andra-Teodora Negroiu, 2012

  4. Well, I thought I’d try

    Sunrise, and the moon’s a cool-faced witch.
    So what if the heat is pitch-thick and slow–
    the moon is cool as ice on a ditch,
    and hollow and blue going home, her blush is just the dawn.

    We weren’t that much as stories go.
    Sometimes we’d watch moonrise, and kiss,
    or make love as the moon settled low.
    No big thing to miss or mention; just the moon on two friends.

    Some nights are a party, some a song,
    and some a roll–sweaty, and unplanned.
    Don’t I know that the moon’s face, long
    blue, empty and chilled, at dawn is the same face as mine.

  5. I will return to read more slowly later. Walt and Marie, when I read your poems this morning I laughed out loud! Walt, you heart-breaker;)) and Marie, you dear school-pal!

    I commented this morning but when I was waiting for my comment to post the internet disappeared. It returned here before supper;( , on the bright side, I had lots of time to have fun with the prompt!…


    You keen my senses, remove my defenses
    Ravish perception like a tree in the fall
    My mind is blind to half-love recompenses
    I drink foolish hope from its chalice half-full
    While subtly you strip the smile from my lip
    I remain, a devoted beggar on your fingertip

    Beneath your caress, casually you undress
    The dearest and deepest measures of my heart
    But I am a fool and oh, you are so cool
    I gulp the pleasure purposed blindness imparts
    While you seem to linger just out of my reach
    From the tip of your finger I beg and beseech

    You move through me, an invisible tempest
    While my wanton tears wash your body; your feet
    I do not feel the chill of disinterest
    Until you have stripped me; your mission complete
    I cannot hide; my emaciated form
    Stands exposed; naked limbs reach to embrace sorrow’s storm

    © Janet Martin

    Flood to Famine

    You come to me a bit like that
    A deluge pelting my reserve
    You trickle in beneath my hat
    To claim what you think you deserve
    I cannot resist you so I allow you slip
    Like raindrops on a window over my parched lips

    Who taught you to be a reckless thief?
    Your boldness startles demure poise
    And you will surely be my mother’s grief
    She warned me, ‘daughter, watch out for those boys’
    For you are not a placid, gentle-noon’s rainfall
    You are a rebel; a ‘let’s jump from a plane and free-fall’

    You came to me a bit like that
    I grew accustomed to your style
    So I pick out my favorite hat
    And wait for you; it’s been a while
    The sun grows hot, so hot; and I begin to doubt
    Nobody taught me what to do in case of drought

    Janet Martin


    I hope you come to me
    Completely un-rushed
    For I need you next to me
    But not hurried or pushed
    How do we love each other; let’s count the ways
    Time is a priceless commodity these days

    I hope you stop long enough
    Oh, I hope you stay
    Until we have run out of
    All we need to say
    And even then, you would find no reason to leave
    As we listen to the night slipping over the eve

    Moments are life-gems
    We cannot count or number
    Or know how many of them
    Fill time’s vault ‘til we slumber
    True sorrow is looking back to yesterday
    Regretting the life-gems we threw away

    © Janet Martin

    Te Amo, Te Quiero (Yes, it should be German;)

    You discard each rampart that I secure
    You breathe; I melt, acquiescent in your gaze
    Your presence is more than I can endure
    Yet, like a moth to flame I seek its blaze
    Drawn to you, I thirst; love’s gall is bittersweet
    For you remain oblivious; I wallow at your feet

    “O senor, Te amo, O, Te quiero
    Me Encantas,’ aw, what is the use
    You hang your hat over my heart’s window
    Completely untaken by my Spanish ruse
    I watch from behind you but you don’t turn around
    So I must follow; an invisible shadow on the ground

    Would one tiny glance be too noble a favor?
    Is there any chance; or am I doomed unseen?
    Must I remain at your mercy forever
    To die in the hollow of what might have been?
    I have one ploy left; ah, leave it to me
    Senor, I will attempt to seduce you with poetry

    © Janet Martin


    I sit and gaze at you
    longing for your embrace,
    be one with you not two.
    My hands your surface trace
    To you I will be true.
    Yet, of my presence, you have no clue.

    You pass me unconcerned,
    as if I non-exist.
    My love for you unlearned,
    my ‘tenting you resist.
    No matter long I’ve stayed,
    over me, you ocean-heart prefers the prim mermaid.

  7. Fate Sealed with a Kiss

    Since seventh grade you caught my eye
    The twinkle of those baby blues
    The problem was that I was shy
    Around you my face did turn hues
    Of red and sometimes even green
    With envy for your lovely date, the homecoming queen.

    But prom was yet to come, I knew.
    I had a date, but he backed out,
    He knew I had a thing for you.
    My dream date, yes, I had no doubt
    Although something did seem a miss
    You were quite a bore, full of yourself, AND you couldn’t kiss!

    © KED 2012

  8. Late to the party! Busy with my own!


    He comes to me arms filled with blooms
    to make my eyes light up with joy,
    so many flowers from one boy
    who’s hoping to create a mood
    with chocolate, which he consumes,
    hoping it leads to sleeping rooms.

    I cannot thwart so keen a heart
    who arms himself with sweet cliché
    and dreams to steal my heart away,
    but household help he still rejects
    as woman’s labor a la carte—
    paying a maid would be a start.

    What men assume a woman needs
    is often so far off the mark
    like farming camels in a park,
    when our desires are oft mundane—
    lawn care or vacuuming, such deeds
    create the feast where loving feeds.

  9. Pingback: Question and Answer: A Poet’s Prompt | Two Voices, One Song

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