‘Sweit rois…delytsum lyllie’

Gillian Rudd

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 ‘Sweit rois…delytsum lyllie’

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  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)


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This article examines metaphorical and real flowers in medieval English verses, focusing on William Dunbar's poem To a Lady. It analyses in detail flowers in a selection of lyrics to show how familiar tropes and typical passages contain elements of the material world rather than just in literary conception. It shows that words and images slide across the boundary between real and symbolic, so much so that we might question how much there is indeed a boundary.

Keywords: flowers; English verses; medieval verses; William Dunbar; To a Lady; literary conception

Article.  8099 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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