Tag Archives: alliterative verse

The earliest English poetry

[English 390, offered Spring 2018] In English, as in other languages, poetry was at first an oral form: it was passed down in recitation, not writing. The Anglo-Saxons (that is, the English-speaking inhabitants of early medieval Britain) learned to write … Continue reading

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Lawmen and Plowmen

From my review of Stephen M. Yeager, From Lawmen to Plowmen: Anglo-Saxon Legal Tradition and the School of Langland (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014): What did Old English literature contribute to the literary cultures of post-Conquest England? The question has … Continue reading

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Reconstructing Alliterative Verse

Alliterative poetry is first recorded in English from the late seventh century, which makes it the oldest poetry in this language. Surviving poems include Cædmon’s Hymn, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Piers Plowman, several of the most admired works … Continue reading

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English Quantity

[8 January 2016 in Austin, TX, at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, session number 218, “Quantity in English Verse: Linguistic and Neuroscience-Based Challenges to the Accentual Paradigm.” This short historiographical paper was the half-time show in our … Continue reading

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Middle English Alliterative Poetry: ENGL 402

[a course description, updated for the F14 iteration. In the previous iteration we read part of Cleanness and The Siege of Jerusalem (combined with Patience to form a unit on the destruction of cities) in place of Pearl. The F14 course website … Continue reading

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Meter in Seattle

Another cfp, this one for the Sixth International Piers Plowman Conference, to be held 23-26 July 2015, in Seattle, WA: Metrical Form. Papers on the meter of Piers Plowman and other Middle English alliterative poems. Possible topics include metrical variation … Continue reading

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The Accentual Paradigm

An excerpt from my article “The Accentual Paradigm in Early English Metrics,” which has now appeared in JEGP. I seek to show how Old English poetry first came to be regarded as “accentual” or “strong stress” in nineteenth-century scholarship, and … Continue reading

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Hoyt Duggan festschrift

I reviewed the festschrift for Hoyt Duggan in Yearbook of Langland Studies 27 (2013). The full citation for the book is Michael Calabrese and Stephen H. A. Shepherd, eds., Yee? Baw for Bokes: Essays on Medieval Manuscripts and Poetics in … Continue reading

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Kalamazoo 2014: two sessions

I am organizing two sessions on Piers Plowman at the 2014 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo: “Langland’s Line” and “Piers Plowman and the Rich.” The first session concerns the poem’s meter; the second, the poem’s intersections with social history. … Continue reading

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Alliterative Revival: Retrospect and Prospect

An excerpt from my review essay, “Alliterative Revival: Retrospect and Prospect.” In this review of Randy Schiff’s Revivalist Fantasy: Alliterative Verse and Nationalist Literary History (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2011), I attempted to sketch out the main lines of … Continue reading

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