The word conjures up for me an image of a medieval minstrel, someone pale and languid for love, lute in hand.
But in his recent post on Image’s 25th anniversary, Greg Wolfe cites Ezra Pound’s use of the word, evoking a more active vision—and one closer to the etymology: a troubadour is someone who finds something.
Or perhaps discovers it.
When I first began working at Image, I began asking people how they encountered us. With rare exceptions, it was by human agency. The poet Betsy Sholl, for example, answered my question by recounting a visit to her sister’s house, where her brother-in-law left a copy of Image Journal next to her bed.
“I had no idea such a thing existed,” she recalled. She read through the night and at her host’s urging, took that copy with her.
After the initial discovery, however, comes the recognition that this new thing ought to exist. It both awakens a thirst and slakes it. It leaves one both satisfied and disturbed.
And twenty-five years ago, the journal was just the beginning.