John Gower's Poetic

September 1990
297 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Publications of the John Gower Society
ISBN: 9780859912808
Format: Hardback

John Gower's Poetic

The Search for a New Arion

R.F. Yeager

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John Gower's Poetic is a new study of Gower's complete poetry. Considered are Vox Clamantis, Mirour de l'Omme, Traitié pour les Amantz marietz, Cinkante Balades, Confessio Amantis,and `To King Henry IV, In Praise of Peace'. In fiveintegrative chapters, Yeger demonstrates that Gower - far from being the lugubrious moralist and journeyman craftsman as which he is often portrayed -was in fact a writer of broad learning and ambition, whose work was consistently shaped bya poetic theory of profound originality.
To demonstrate this, John Gower's Poetic re-examines Gower's work from the basic levels of orthography, grammar, vocabulary, and metrics, to his enduring macrocosmic themes; in the process, Yeager shows that Gower saw himself as an `auctor', or `poete', in the manner of Dante, Machaut, Froissart, and Deschamps. The book concludes with an extensive, fresh reading of Gower's greatest poem, the Confessio Amantis.

Professor R. F. Yeager teaches in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, University of West Florida, Pensacola.


`The most comprehensive attempt so far published to restore John Gower to the first rank of English poets.' SPECULUM`..a rich contribution to the study of Ricardian poetry, and deserves a wide audience. Professor Yeager makes challenging suggestions about Gower as a poet, and about the consistent poetic that informs his work. It is an impressive book in its arguments and its erudition, placing Gower within the traditions of French and English poetry and of Latin learning; and it gives a clear sense of how ambitious a poet Gower was, and how unusual he was in his exciting account of Gower as a poet.' CHARLES RUNACRES, Marlborough. Medium ævum, LXI.1.`A major study of a major poet...explores the whole of Gower's canon nd covers a remarkably wide field of issues.'RUSSELL A. PECK, University of Rochester. Studies in the Age of Chaucer, no. 14, 1992.

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