By Thomas G. Duncan
Winner of a decision remarkable educational name Award the center English lyric occupies a spot of substantial significance within the heritage of English literature. right here, for the 1st time in English, are came across many positive factors of formal and thematic significance: they contain rhyme scheme, stanzaic shape, the carol style, love poetry within the demeanour of the troubadour poets, and devotional poems targeting the affection, agony and compassion of Christ and the Virgin Mary. The essays during this quantity goal to supply either heritage details on and new exams of the lyric. through treating heart English lyrics bankruptcy by means of bankruptcy in line with their forms - poems facing love, with non secular devotion, with ethical, political and well known subject matters, and people linked to preaching - it presents the notice in their attribute cultural contexts and literary modalities worthwhile for an educated serious examining. complete account is taken of the scholarship upon which our wisdom of those lyrics rests, particularly the phenomenal contributions of the previous few a long time and such contemporary insights as these of gender feedback. additionally incorporated are specific discussions of the dear info afforded through the commonly various manuscript contexts within which heart English lyrics live to tell the tale and of the varied matters fascinated with enhancing those texts. Separate chapters are dedicated to the carol, which got here to prominence within the 15th century, and to heart Scots lyrics which, on the finish of the center English lyric culture, current a few subtle productions of a wholly new order.BR> participants: Julia Boffey, Thomas G. Duncan, John Scattergood, Vincent Gillespie, Christiania Whitehead, Douglas grey, Karl Reichl, Thorlac Turville-Petre, Alan J. Fletcher, Bernard O'Donoghue, Sarah Stanbury and Alasdair A. MacDonald.
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Additional info for A Companion to the Middle English Lyric
T. Donaldson has observed of Chaucer, ‘it is impossible to edit at all without having in mind some fairly strong preconception concerning . . metre’ (Donaldson 1974, 99). Metre A commonly accepted view has been that lyric scansion is appropriately to be analysed in terms of the number of stresses per line. Representative of this view is G. L. Brook, the editor of the standard edition of the Harley lyrics. According to Brook, stressed and unstressed syllables ‘alternate fairly evenly as in Modern English versification’.
Nevertheless, some lines have ‘fewer stresses than we should expect’; and although Brook accepts that ‘some of these lines may be corrupt’, he takes the view that it is ‘better to regard the occasional substitution of a three-stress for a four-stress line as a form of licence to avoid monotony’ (Brook, 18). However, such an account of metre involves several assumptions. One is that the medieval reader entertained the same aesthetic responses as a modern reader. Yet, would a Middle English reader or poet necessarily have felt or shared Brook’s (or any modern reader’s) notion of ‘monotony’?
Secular and Religious Lyrics in All-purpose Manuscript Anthologies Thornton copied a varied selection of other lyrics into his two books: prayers, a carol, moral lyrics with refrains (IMEV 560, 3533 and 583). His choices typify the range of short poems commonly included in fifteenth-century all-purpose anthologies. 38 has a similar flavour, its romances and saints’ lives interspersed with verse salutations to the Virgin (IMEV 1401 and 3685) and short verse formulations of essential matters like the works of mercy, the seven deadly sins, and the twelve articles of the faith (McSparran and Robinson 1979).