The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Reiss, Edmund. "Dusting off the Cobwebs: A Look at Chaucer's Lyrics." 1 (1966): 55-65.
Although many critics see poems such as "A B C" and "To Rosemounde" as less interesting, further study shows them to be worth considering. Viewing "A B C" as 23 separate poems gives the reader a glimpse of the dramatic relationship between the narrator and the Virgin Mary based primarily on Mary's calmness and the narrator's frantic activity. The sounds of the lines further emphasize this contrast. "To Rosemounde" depicts yet another Chaucer. The lover (narrator) appears in two different states as the poem progresses. First, the narrator weeps; then he celebrates. The exaggerated figurative language, however, indicates an irony. The narrator, finally, is happily away from his lady. Thus, the shorter lyrics are worth examining because they are enjoyable reading, and they provide a different view of Chaucer and his work than we usually get from examining only the Canterbury Tales or Troilus and Criseyde.
Stephens, John. "The Uses of Personae and the Art of Obliqueness in Some Chaucer Lyrics: Part III." 22 (1987): 41-52.
In "To Rosemounde" comedy derives from Chaucer's alterations of a conventional situation. The speaker does not display passion or intense desire. In Part IV of "Complaint to His Lady," the speaking persona carefully manipulates complaint conventions and rhetorical devices in order to advance his suit. Readers notice that, when they compare the two poems, "To Rosemounde" parodies "Complaint to a Lady." The comic irony used to create the speaker is sharp, but comedy is not necessary to highlight the speakers' differences. "Complaint to His Purse" is Chaucer's most overt parody of the complaint convention. Examination of the lyrics in this series of articles illustrates that none of Chaucer's personas are exactly alike.