Click here to skip to content

Square Diagram Of Poetic Metre, In James Nicholas of Denmark's Poems

Square Diagram Of Poetic Metre, In James Nicholas of Denmark's Poems

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1450

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Claudius A XIV

Item number: f.17v

Length: 24.2

Width: 16.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This manuscript contains a set of poems by James Nicholas of Denmark (he flourished c.1360-73) written in 1363 in honour of Aymer of Valence, Earl of Pembroke (d.1324), whose widow Marie was Nicholas's patron, and founder of Pembroke College, Cambridge. On a flyleaf it has a late medieval ownership inscription (partly erased) of the College. This diagram, headed '22nd Metre', contains a poem laid out in a square grid to emphasise the poetic structure. The first line is read across the top; the second line is read diagonally from the upper left to the lower right corner; the third line is read vertically down the left-hand side; the fourth is read along the bottom; the fifth is read diagonally from the lower left to the upper right corner; and so on. This makes clear that the first word of the first three lines is the same ('Mors'), the last word of the first and fourth lines is the same ('anxietate'), and so on.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: