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Medieval Welsh Erotic Poetry

Ed. Dafydd Johnston
Publication Date: 
Monday, February 1, 1999
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This new, revised edition of Medieval Welsh Erotic Poetry contains thirty-one poems from the later medieval period. They all deal frankly with sex and sexual organs, some deliberately provocative, others self-mocking, and a few intended to shock and disgust. They are characterised by wit and inventive imagination, and make extensive use of dramatic dialogue.

Some of these poems have been deliberately suppressed by scholars because of their indecency, whilst others have lain unknown in manuscripts for centuries. The edited Welsh texts are here accompanied by English translations, with notes giving essential information on the poets and their poems. Dafydd Johnston’s critical introduction places the poems in the context of the Welsh bardic tradition and draws attention to some European parallels. This collection will be of interest to those already familiar with the Welsh poetic tradition, which is revealed here in an entirely new light. It will also be valuable to students of European love literature of the Middle Ages, and those interested in attitudes towards women and sexuality. And it will appeal to all who enjoy lively wit and frank sensuality.

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