Chapter

The Idea of Public Poetry in Lydgatean Religious Verse: Authority and the Common Voice in Devotional Literature

John T. Sebastian

in Medieval Poetics and Social Practice

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823243242
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823243280 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823243242.003.0006

Series: Fordham Series in Medieval Studies (FUP)

The Idea of Public Poetry in Lydgatean Religious Verse: Authority and the Common Voice in Devotional Literature

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

John T. Sebastian conceives of social and religious communities through the articulation of “common voice.” Building on Anne Middleton's formulation that public poetry speaks in a common voice on behalf of a common good, Sebastian reminds us that public poetry provides an important site of interaction between medieval poetics and social practice. In “The Idea of Public Poetry in Lydgatean Religious Verse: Authority and the Common Voice in Devotional Literature,” Sebastian proposes to extend the category of public poetry by including within it John Lydgate's devotional verse. He argues that in the poems he examines, speaking voices are multiple and sustain complex relationships to their audience, and that these multivocal networks challenge hierarchies in order to claim “a truly common and public form of devotion.” Lydgate's linguistic and formal instabilities allow his poetic speaker to dismantle his own authority and thereby accommodate an ideal community of “common English citizens.” This vision exists in opposition to the fragmented and contentious theological landscape of Lydgate's time.

Keywords: Voice; Common; citizen; Public; John Lydgate; Lyric; Devotional; Poetics; medieval

Chapter.  5147 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.