The Nerve Historical Context

Glyn Maxwell
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Brief History of British Poetry

Maxwell comes from a very long line of British poets, who have influenced his writing. British poetry is traceable as far back as the seventh century. It was then that a monk known as Caedmon wrote a hymn in verse, the first known British poem. Although the date is still in dispute, one of the next surviving verses is the well-known epic poem Beowulf, written perhaps in the eighth century but possibly as late as the tenth.

Poetry continued to flourish in later centuries, as witnessed by the several surviving texts composed during the Anglo-Norman period of British history. Poems from this period include Layaman's twelfth-century poem Brut, written in a dialect of Middle English, as well as the Gawain poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and William Langland's Piers Plowman, both dating to the fourteenth century. Poetry would change after this...

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This section contains 1,184 words
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