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Lays (Narrative poetry)

  • Short medieval French narrative poems that were often written in verses of eight syllables.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

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  • Form

    • Lays (Narrative poetry)
  • Variants

    • Lais (Narrative poetry)
  • Broader Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Myers, J. Dictionary of poetic terms, c2003(lai: also spelled lay, originally, a short narrative or lyric meant to be sung. The oldest extant l. narrative on record is Marie de France's from the 12th century. The oldest extant lyric l. is Gautier de Dargies' from the 13th century. In form, the l. verse is composed of octosyllabic couplets)
    • found: Britannica online, Oct. 29, 2012(lay, also spelled lai, in medieval French literature, a short romance, usually written in octosyllabic verse, that dealt with subjects thought to be of Celtic origin. The earliest lay narratives were written in the 12th century. The term lay may refer to a medieval lyric poem. The earliest extant examples are those composed in the 13th century. These lays had nonuniform stanzas of about 6 to 16 or more lines of 4 to 8 syllables. One or two rhymes were maintained throughout each stanza)
    • found: New Princeton encyclopedia of poetry and poetics, 2012(lai: OF; Eng. lay; Ger. leich). A short narrative or lyric poem, perhaps based on Celtic material but primarily Fr., most of them secular and usually set to music.)
    • found: LCSH, Oct. 22, 2014(Lays)
  • General Notes

    • Short medieval French narrative poems that were often written in verses of eight syllables.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-15: revised
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