The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation

By W. T. H. Jackson; Joan M. Ferrante et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

6
The Politics of a Poet:
The Archipoeta As Revealed
by His Imagery

MOST OF THE POETS of the High Middle Ages are anonymous in the sense that of their lives we know nothing. But of the Archipoeta we know less than nothing, for even his name is a mocking travesty of a title, probably a play on that of his patron, the Archicancellarius, Reinald von Dassel, Archbishop of Cologne. Only ten poems can be ascribed with any certainty to a poet whose sense of form and whose verbal agility equal or exceed those of any medieval poet. These ten short poems appear to be intensely personal and to reflect the idiosyncrasies of their author and his reactions to the events and personages of his time. There is no independent evidence about this remarkable man, no documents exist to which he was a witness; there are no records of his relations with other poets or with his patrons. He is thus to an even greater degree than most contemporary writers in Latin or the vernacular a persona, a poet who appears only in his works. Since many of these works present the poet in the first person, it is a natural assumption that the statements made there are those of the poet himself, that he is telling of his own feelings and views and using the vehicle of his verse to make known to the world his personal reactions to patrons, to emperors, to courtiers, and to bishops.

Such a view might be described as a pathetic fallacy, although not inthe way in which the expression is usually used. The ideas he expresses are, of course, his own but they are conditioned by the genre in which he writes and the effects which he wishes to produce. When a poet un

-81-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Challenge of the Medieval Text: Studies in Genre and Interpretation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 248

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?