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Anglo-Norman era, secular lyric poetry, political poetry and satire


Whereas many works of a religious or moral nature survive from the Anglo-Norman era, secular lyric poetry was until quite recently virtually unknown. Isabel S. T. Aspin's Anglo-Norman Political Songs provided the first, and to date the only, readily-accessible modern edition of secular lyrics. This collection of political poems and satires shows that the author of occasional verse is not only interested in singing the praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary or adapting parts of the liturgy into the vernacular; he is moved also to sing of the corruption of state or church, to lament the death of the noble departed, or to applaud the death of a traitor. Many other secular poems were discussed in M. Dominica Legge's Anglo-Norman Literature and its Background, which further demonstrated that the Anglo-Norman temperament was not always inclined to be serious and utilitarian and that the Anglo-Norman poet might even on occasion turn to thoughts of love.