Love 23: the song at dawn called an ‘alba’

a small alba

Harry Gilonis, British

from Rough Breeding: Selected Poems,



A poetic alba is a song at dawn, sometimes in a dialogue, sometimes chanted and often to denote the regret of lovers who have to leave each other at dawn.


It follows the Provençal Troubadour tradition: alba meaning ‘white’ in Occitan.


Loss. Regret. Overwhelming longing almost to a lamentation.


The absence of a presence and the presence of an absence: hiraeth in Welsh, saudade in Portuguese,  tezeta (ትዝታ) in Amharic.



White the moon

white the wine


white the light

white the leaf


white the rock

white the bark


white the stone

white the dawn




Memory; archival inkjet print mounted on aluminum, 2019

  Danielle Morris (no other information).  Exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia in 2019







2 thoughts on “Love 23: the song at dawn called an ‘alba’

  1. Sarah, I have returned to this particular entry many times.The image is utterly exquisite !
    I like to continue. ‘white the.. ‘ and imagine
    hearing albas at dawn. How alluring.

Comments are closed.