Monday, 5 September 2011



1) Ormulum:

* An Augustine monk named Orm or Ormin, who lived in Marcia, writes this poem about 1200 A.D.

*  ”This book is called Ormulum because Orm wrote it”.

* Only a fragment of the total work (one-eighth of the book) has survived. This single fragment contains 10000 lines.

* He was inspired to write this poem perhaps by his brother monk Walter and perhaps he wants to offer the scriptural instruction in a popular form to have an easy appeal to common people.

* The poem is basically the translation and paraphrases in verse of some 40 Gospels.

* The Gospels are generally read at the mass throughout at year.

* It is written is North-East Midland dialect and free from foreign words.

* To Albert- “The work is unique for its complicated system of spelling”; But as a whole the work is very tedious becoming of repetition without variation.

v      2) The Owl and the Nightingale:

* It is a poem of some 800 octo-syllabic lines.

* The poem is attributed to Nicholas de Guildford who lived at Portesham in Dorset.

* The poem is written in the form of debate (then immensely popular with the French and Provencal poets).

* It is a long debt between a nightingale and an owl. Each one bitterly criticizes the manner of live, habit of taking food, power of singing, physical feature of the other with equal wit and wisdom. Finally to judge who the winner is they agree to fly to one Nicholas de Guildford.

* The poem is a five example of allegory. The Nightingale stands for lighter joys of life, thoughtless youth, art and music where as the Owl stands for wisdom, sobriety, philosophy and thought.

* The poem has a high dramatic force which is born out of the clash of two contrary characters. And became of its wit, humour and diverting satires it can be characterized as a true comedy.

v      3) Poema Morale ( The Moral Ode ):

* It is a poem of some 400 lines, written probably in 1170 by an unknown poet.
* The poem begins with the poet’s lamentation for his ill spent youth and wasted opportunities. He advises his readers to take the paths of Truth and Virtue to gain the final Salvation. He reminds the readers about the terrors of Doomsday, the torments of Hell and the eternal joy in the Heaven.
* The poem is inspired with Christian Zeal and it echoes the medieval Catholicism.
v      4) Cursor Mundi:
* It is a poem of some 24000 lines written in rhyming octo-syllabic couplets.
* It is written about 1320, probably by a Northumbrian cleric.
* It treats almost all the old and New Testament stories and also much of later religious history.
* There are seven main divisions in the work to present the entire story of the Bible. They are-
a) The Fall of Angels
b) The creation of Man
c) The loss of Paradise
d) The death of Adam
e) The story of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ
f) The Mystery of Apostles
g) Coming of Anti-Christ and the Dooms Day.
* Its aim was to popularize religious instruction to the People.
* To Arthur Compton Rickett- “It is the first attempt made in England to blend in one the whole Biblical stories and medieval legends. Incidents quiet as marvelous as any to be found in the romances are related with an air of sober reality and with much circumstantial details.”
v      5) The Prick of Conscience:
* The poem is perhaps written by Richard Rolle of Hampole.
* ’The work which is based on the writings of the early Fathers, describes the joys and sorrows of a man’s life as he is affected in turn by good and evil’. (Albert)

* The poem is divided into seven parts including a prologue.
* What is most important regarding this poem is that the abstract matter of this poem is handled in a simple way with several striking passages.
v      6) Handlyng Synne:

* The poem is written by Robert Manning in 1303.

* It is based upon William Wadington’sManuel des Peches’.

* In 44 stories the poet illustrates the various ways of sins.

* ”The work is enlivened by anecdotes and undoubtedly shows a keen sense of observation “(Albert).

v      7) Love Rune:

* The poem is written by some Thomas of Hales.

* ’The poem brings out the vanity and transience of earthly love and advocates the pure love of Christ’

v      8) Sinners, Beware:

* It is a poem of 354 lines.

* It describes the horror of Hell, the horror of grave and the poem gives the warning against the seven Deadly sins.

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