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Ausiàs March (c. 1397 – March 3, 1459) was a Valencian poet who was born in Gandiamarker (Valenciamarker) towards the end of the 14th century. He was the son of Pere March, nephew of Jaume March II, and cousin of Arnau March.

Little is known of his career. From a very young age he took part in the expeditions that Alfons el Magnanim carried out in the Mediterranean. After the age of twenty-seven, however, he would never leave the region where he was born. He was twice married—first to N'Isabel Martorell (sister of the writer Joanot Martorell), and second to Na Joana Escorna. Five bastard children and no legitimate heirs have been attributed to him.

Inheriting an easy fortune from his father Pere March, the treasurer to the duke of Gandia, and enjoying the powerful patronage of Prince Carlos de Viana of Aragon, March was able to devote himself to poetical composition. He is an undisguised follower of Petrarch, carrying the imitation to such a point that he addressed his Cants d'amor to a lady whom he professed to have seen first in church on Good Friday. So far as the difference of language allows, he reproduced the rhythmical cadences of his model, but this should be qualified, as the mediaeval tradition of locus communis requested this following. This is something Petrarch himself did and it need not to be stressed.¹ March is a very original and idiosyncratic poet. In the Cants de mort he touches a note of brooding sentiment peculiar to himself. It can be said that he developed Petrarch's rhetoric and used it for more inner psychological meditations, as other major poets like Camões and Shakespeare would.

March was one of the first poets to use the everyday language Catalan, instead of the troubadour language, Occitan. His poems are marked by obscurity, a sometimes monotonous morbidity, and a conflicting battle between desire and morality, achieved at its apex in the great Cant Spiritual. He was fully entitled to the supremacy which he enjoyed among his contemporaries, and the success of his innovation no doubt encouraged Boscán to introduce the Italian metres into Castilian. His verses were transmitted in manuscript tradition until its first print edition in Catalan in 1543, but they had already become known through the Spanish translation in 1539.

¹ - For a thorough treatment of imitatio, see Thomas M. Greene's The Light in Troy

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