William Dunbar: Selected Poems

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Psychology Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 114 pages
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Hugh MacDiarmid hailed William Dunbar (1461?-1520?) as 'in many ways the most modern, as he is the most varied, of Scottish poets'. His verve, wit, metrical skill, malice and elegiac power made him one of the great poets of the fifteenth century, and a defining Scottish poet of all time. Although he was a priest for most of his adult life, Dunbar saw himself as a professional writer and took an outspoken pride in his craft, never failing to remind the king, his employer, of the unwisdom of neglecting to reward poets. Close to the European traditions of Fran ois Villon and troubadour lyrics, and inheriting the vigorous rhythms of Piers Plowman, Dunbar revitalized the conventions of medieval poetry, excelling in his mastery of the short satirical and lyrical poem. He can be bawdy, savage and romantic. Above all, more than any other poet of his time, Dunbar speaks directly in a voice that is vivid and challenging. This fully annotated edition makes the richness of Dunbar's language accessible to the modern reader.
  

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User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

Some of these poems are extremely witty, and others are impressively devout. Dunbar is my personal favorite late medieval/early renaissance author. Read full review

Contents

Dunbar at Oxinfurde
1
The Thrissil and the Rois
2
On His HeidAke
9
How Dumbar Was Desyrd to be Ane Freir
10
Complaint to the King Aganis Mure
12
Ane his Awin Ennemy
13
The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie
14
Meditatioun in Wyntir
23
Of the Said James quhen he had plesett him
51
The Fen3eit Freir of Tungland
52
The Testament of Mr Andro Kennedy
56
The Dregy of Dunbar
60
To the Merchantis of Edinburgh
64
The Twa Cummeris
67
The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo
68
Quhat is this lyfe
84

Of Discretioun in Asking
25
Of Discretioun in Geving
27
Of Discretioun in Taking
29
Remonstrance to the King
31
To the King That he war Johne Thomsounis Man
34
To the Lordis of the Kingis Chalker
35
To the King
36
In This Warld May None Assure
39
The Petition of the Gray Horse Auld Dunbar
42
A Brash of Wowing
45
Of a Dance in the Quenis Chalmer
48
Of James Dog Kepair of the Quenis Wardrep
50
Inconstancy of Luve
85
Fasternis Evin in Hell The Dance of the Sevin Deidly Synnis
86
The Sowtar and Tail3ouris War
90
The Amendis to the Tail3ouris and Sowtaris
94
All Erdly Joy Returnis in Pane
96
Lament for the Makaris
98
Ane Ballat of Our Lady
102
Of the Nativitie of Christ
105
On the Resurrection of Christ
107
Notes
109
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