Saturday, 2 March 2013

Ongoing summary of Project 1.

I suppose an 'ongoing summary' is something of an oxymoron. As I read around each poetic era I want to create a simple timeline that reminds me of the main points. So that I can look back and use it as a very easy reference / reminder.

The Heroic Age
  • Derived from ancient tradition of oral accounts of real or mythical adventure.
  • Performed, often to musical accompaniment.
  • Entertainment / journalism / education. Recounting current events and historical ones.
  • Social activity.
  • Poets were revered. New poems were written by a 'Scop',  old ones re-told/embellished by 'Gleemen'.
  • Anglo-Saxons called poems 'word-hoard'. A hoard of verbal riches.
  • Poems were corporate efforts.
  • Ezra Pound's translation of 'The Seafarer'.

The Age of Chivalry
  • The literary form of the English language disappeared after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and all compositions were written in Latin or French and didn't re-emerge for a few hundred years - Chaucer et al, vernacular Middle English
  • European Renaissance influenced form and content - more sophisticated. (Sonnet's etc).
  • Celtic culture/ myth and appreciation of natural beauty assimilated into English poetry.
  • Scop and Gleemen were replaced by the Minstrel.
  • Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

The Renaissance
  • English Renaissance came about during the Elizibethan period of culturally enlightened and educated theatre building. 
  • Heavily influenced by classical myth and legend but the poet's own voice was developing.
  • Poetry composition became the benchmark of cultural sophistication.
  • Anonymous scop, gleemen and minstrel gave way to a highly skilled individual, using written language.
  • Only accessible by the educated literate.(Usually men).Educated ladies of court were permitted to pen appropriate poems on the death of a husband. 
  • Despite the elitism of complex written poetry, oral traditions also continued to flourish.Ballads, songs, plays.
  • Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen.

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