The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Ebin, Lois A. "The Theme of Poetry in Dunbar's 'Goldyn Targe.'" 7 (1972): 147-59.
Focused on skillfully creating poetry, Dunbar examines poets and poetry in terms of the natural world and the artistic world. In the 'Goldyn Targe,' Dunbar probes the extremes possible in a dream vision. Section I shows how the sun affects the countryside. In the dream portion, the poet makes this effect analogous to the poet's effect on his subject. References to Homer and Cicero shift the readers' focus to the allegory. In Section III, light becomes good writing: the poet should elucidate his matter in the same way which the dream section has examined poets and poetry. Dunbar's view of the relationship between the two appears in his other works as well.
Hargreaves, Henry. "Lydgate's 'A Ram's Horn.'" 10 (1976): 255-59.
The Ellesmere version of "A Ram's Horn" contains seven stanzas discussing class. The version in the Bannatyne manuscript, however, has been altered by a Scots scribe. The alterations in the Ashmole manuscript make its version an anti-feminist work, suggesting that the more courtly audience liked the original "Ram's Horn" which was then altered for the pleasure of the populace.
Heidtmann, Peter. "A Bibliography of Henryson, Dunbar, and Douglas, 1912-1968." 5 (1970): 75-82.
This bibliography provides a general list of the critical materials available on the medieval Scottish poets Henryson, Dunbar, and Douglas and suggests that criticism of Douglas might be the most productive pursuit for scholars interested in this literature.
Kinneavy, Gerald B. "The Poet in The Palice of Honour." 3 (1969): 280-303.
Gavin Douglas's The Palice of Honour shows a poet seeking honor through his poetry, though he recognizes that wisdom, chastity, and virtue could also gain him honor. The conventional opening actually serves to direct attention to the poet's powers of creation. The change from May garden to wasteland, representations of the avenues of wisdom and charity which the poet sees, and the complaint against the inconstancy of Venus all underscore the poet's desire for honor while depicting the ways in which he is incapable of achieving it. The poet recognizes his need to be saved from Venus (whom he has insulted) and from the wasteland in which he finds himself. Calliope, the muse of poetry, comes to rescue him, but to be released from Venus' court, the poet must write, thereby focusing attention primarily on the creative poetic faculty. A nymph takes the poet on a journey, showing him the materials (beautiful sights) out of which he can make poetry. The only resting place is the fountain of poetry. From here, the poet can begin seeking the Palice, but his poetry demonstrates that he still has much to learn. At the end, the poem asserts that the poet ought to live a virtuous life, and the poet demonstrates an understanding of his art and its purpose, thus eventually gaining the Palice of Honor.
Parkinson, David J. "Henryson's Scottish Tragedy." 25 (1991): 355-62.
In the Testament of Cresseid readers perceive the fascination of Middle Scots poets with solitary, often disfigured, wanderers, as Criseyde is here depicted to be. In the Testament, Henryson addresses a fundamental concern of Middle Scots poetry: the tension between the substantial topics of loss, winter, and old age and the lighter, passing topics of youth, beauty, and spring. Given this dichotomy, Henryson questions the moral validity of poetry.