Pearl Poet  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The "Pearl Poet", or the "Gawain Poet", is the name given to the author of Pearl, an alliterative poem written in 14th-century Middle English. Its author appears also to have written the poems Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, and Cleanness; some scholars have suggested he or she may also have composed Saint Erkenwald. Save for the latter (found in BL-MS Harley 2250), all these works are known from a single surviving manuscript, the British Library holding Cotton Nero A x. This body of work includes some of the greatest poetry written in Middle English.

The Pearl Poet is in modern scholarship most often identified as John Massey, a member of the landed gentry from Cheshire. There is still considerable doubt, however, as to whether Massey was actually the author of the Cotton Nero A.x poems.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pearl Poet" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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