By Anne L. Klinck
This assortment makes a speciality of a woman's standpoint in love poetry, and juxtaposes poems by way of girls and poems approximately ladies to elevate questions on how femininity is developed. even supposing such a lot medieval "woman's songs" are both nameless or male-authored lyrics in a well-liked variety, the time period can usefully be elevated to hide poetry composed by means of girls, and poetry that's aristocratic or realized instead of well known. Poetry from old Greece and Rome that resonates with the medieval poems is additionally incorporated the following. Readers will discover a variety of voices, frequently echoing related topics, as ladies celebrate or lament, compliment or condemn, plead or curse, converse in jest or in earnest, to males and to one another, approximately love.
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Additional resources for An Anthology of Ancient and Medieval Woman's Song
See Schotter 21–24. Neil Cartlidge finds that “her complaint is given a genuinely tragic resonance” (“Alas, I Go with Chylde” 400). See “The Conception of Female Roles,” Klinck and Rasmussen 152–67. See Ashley 39. Cf. the use of the word “die” for sexual climax, a common poetic metaphor in English literature of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as the Oxford English Dictionary’s examples show (see definition 7d, OED, under the verb “die”). See Jensen, The Earliest Portuguese Lyrics 266–68; Medieval Galician-Portuguese Poetry cxiv–cxv.
What lioness bore you beneath a solitary rock? What sea conceived you and spewed you from its foaming waves? What Syrtis, what greedy Scylla, what vast Charybdis? —you who return this thanks for sweet life preserved. If our marriage was not what you had at heart— because you feared the cruel commands of your strict father, yet you could have brought me to your home to serve you as your slave with cheerful labor, washing your white feet with clear water, or laying purple spreads over your bed. But why do I lament in vain to the heedless winds, crazed at my evil fate?
N σε Oχω π σιν κα πιστ ν J τbλαιν’ Rγ , ε φεjξομαg γε γα αν RκβεβλημNνη, φgλων Oρημο , σwν τNκνοι μ νη μ νοι . καλ ν γ’ νειδο τu νεωστ νυμφgH, 515 πτωχοw iλdσθαι πα δα Z τ’ Oσωσb σε. z Zε , τg δy χρυσο μPν L κgβδηλο τεκμxρι’ iνθρ ποισιν πασα σαφt, iνδρaν δ’ τH χρy τ ν κακ ν διειδNναι οSδε χαρακτyρ RμπNφυκε σ ματι; 25 it would have been pardonable to lust after another. Fidelity to oaths has vanished. I can’t discover whether you think the gods who ruled no longer do, or believe there are new divine decrees for modern men, since you well know you have broken your vow to me.
An Anthology of Ancient and Medieval Woman's Song by Anne L. Klinck