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"Spring, love, birdsong: the nightingale in two cultures"
Wendy Pfeffer
in Willene B. Clark & Meradith T. McMunn, ed., Beasts and Birds of the Middle Ages. The Bestiary and its Legacy, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989, 88-95
 

"The nightingale is the most frequently cited bird in the medieval literature of Western Europe. ... The nightingale is a mournful singer of love for the poets of these Latin lyrics, an augur of spring and an inspiration for the poets as well. ... In European vernacular poetry the nightingale has similar functions, and there is a whole vocabulary directly related to the songbird. ... Curiously, although the nightingale is the most frequently cited bird in medieval European poetry, it is a latecomer to the bestiary tradition. The nightingale is not included in early Latin bestiaries and is first noted in the bestiary of Pierre de Beauvais. ... In Persian literature, the nightingale is 'defined' in Farid Ud-din Attar's Mantiq ut-Tair (The Conference of Birds)." - Pfeffer

Language: English


 
 
  
 
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