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The Experience of PoetryFrom Homer's Listeners to Shakespeare's Readers$
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Derek Attridge

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833154.001.0001

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The Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

The Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Performing Genres

Chapter:
(p.177) 8 The Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
Source:
The Experience of Poetry
Author(s):

Derek Attridge

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198833154.003.0009

This chapter is concerned with the vernacular poetry of Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Side-by-side with the monastic production and preservation of poetry, the castles and courts of the nobility became centres of culture. France, in particular, saw extensive poetic activity, notably in the genres of the chanson de geste and the troubadour lyric. Other French genres of the time include saints’ lives, romances, lais, and fabliaux; the use of the octosyllabic line for these poems is examined. Poetry in the Germanic languages, notably the Middle High German courtly epics and Minnesänger lyrics and the Old Norse eddic and skaldic poetry of Iceland, is discussed, as is the lyric poetry of Italy. The evidence for the experience of poetry in Dante’s Vita nuova is considered. The rhythmic variety of Middle English verse, it is argued, suggests some uncertainty in the adoption of French metres.

Keywords:   chanson de geste, jongleur, troubadour, Old Occitan, Old French, Middle High German, Minnesang, Dante, Vita nuova, Old Norse

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