Medieval Institute Publications, 1984. Item #45898
This volume deals with the attitudes and assumptions about poetry of vernacular writers from the eleventh to the fifteenth century. In contrast to most previous studies, the essays consider not only the formal poetics, but, more importantly, the self-conscious examination of poetry which is increasingly evident in the poems themselves in this period as writers turn from Latin to the imperfect, mutable language of the vernacular. From different perspectives, the essays explore the poets' changing conceptions of their roles and their efforts to develop an effective medium in the vernacular. In the largely neglected dialogue between poets which underlies many medieval poems, the essays reveal an important reassessment of the value and effect of poetry. -from the Introduction.