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Selected Poems

John Skelton

Edited by Gerald Hammond (Professor of English, University of Manchester)

Cover Picture of Selected Poems
RRP: GBP£ 6.95
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Price: GBP£ 6.25
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ISBN: 978 1 857547 17 7
Categories: 15th Century, 16th Century
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Published: August 2003
215 x 135 x 8 mm
144 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • My name is Parrot, a bird of Paradise...
    With my beak bent, my little wanton eye.
    With my feathers fresh as is the emerald green,
    About my neck a circulet like the rich ruby,
    My little legs, my feet both feat and clean,
    I am a minion to wait upon a queen
        from 'Speak, Parrot'

    John Skelton (1464?-1529) is the first great modern English poet. Immensely proud of his poetic calling, he celebrates in his poems the language itself, in all its richness. He wrote in a vigorous vernacular, taking literary English out of the medieval world and enriching it with new forms and tones. Gerald Hammond's notes and glossary illuminate Skelton's works for the modern reader - but Hammond warns readers to keep their wits about them. Skelton is a poet of verbal ambushes, who still has the power to surprise and shock with his formal inventiveness and his indictments of church, scholars and state. His tone can be tender, insinuating, savage and erotic; satire, parody, lyricism and allegory abound.
    Table of Contents


    Woefully Arrayed

    My Darling Dear, My Daisy Flower

    The Ancient Acquaintance, Madam, Between Us Twain

    Mannerly Margery Milk and Ale

    Womanhood, Wanton, Ye Want

    from The Bouge of Court

    Philip Sparrow

    The Tunning of Elinour Rumming

    Speak, Parrot

    from The Garland of Laurel



    John Skelton
    John Skelton was born in Norfolk, probably in 1460, and studied at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He was awarded the title of Poet Laureate by the university of Oxford in 1488, and by Cambridge in 1493. In 1489 Skelton was appointed court poet to King Henry VII, becoming tutor ... read more
    Gerald Hammond
    ... read more
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