The dawn - a study of the traditional love lyric of medieval Spain and Portugal.
The object of this study is to investigate the origins of the traditional lyric poetry of the Iberian Peninsula through an analysis of the poetry of dawn meeting. The formative influences on each of the three types of traditional poetry, the Mozarabic kharjas, the Galician cantigas and the Castilian villancicos are examined and possible relationships are indicated. An introductory survey reviews the state of scholarship in the field of Spanish lyric poetry. Particular reference is made to the importance of the comparatively recent discovery of the kharjas because their publication has occasioned a profound reappraisal of the origins of Romance vernacular poetry. A new dimension has been brought not only to the study of the medieval lyric of Spain and Portugal but also to considerations of the relevance of the Provençal lyric to the poetry of the Peninsula. The individuality of the traditional Iberian lyric is seen in its singularly consistent use of certain related themes, one of the most significant of these being the theme of lovers' meeting at dawn. Each type of lyric is viewed against its cultural background and the many influences both popular and learned which contribute to its composition, to the development of its imagery and to its preservation are assessed. The treatment of the dawn theme and its associated imagery in each area of poetic composition is analysed both for continuity and for innovation and originality. Since religion, either Christian or pagan, is seen to be influential in the shaping of traditional poetry, religion as a theme of the poetry of meeting is reviewed in the concluding chapter. In its various aspects it is found to accord with many of the characteristics described in the previous chapters.
- Theses