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Medieval Love Poetry

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Medieval Love Poetry
Edited by John Cherry. (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2005. Pg. 96. 45 Color Illustrations.) ISBN: 0-89236-839-X.

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - January 24, 2006

Medieval Love Poetry is a small, yet rich collection of excerpts from some of the most moving love poems of the medieval period. This delightful text was edited by John Cherry, and each extract is directly translated from the original poem or chanson. In addition, each extract is prefaced by brief summary of the poems main plot and it is faced by an image that is contemporaneous with the poem. These images run the gamut from drawing and paintings to carvings and cultural objects such as a gold padlock. Furthermore, scattered throughout out this text are the Jewels of Love, images of medieval jewelry given as tokens of love, along with details of the inscriptions carved upon them.

This book is both a delight to look through, as well as to read. Poems touched upon in this text include the story of Tristan and Isolt, Gwain and the Green Knight, La Chatelaine de Vergi, The Troubadour, Lancelot, The Games of Love, and The Romance of the Rose. For those wishing to read the poems in full, a list of the source texts is included at the end of the book. The text includes both short and long extracts, and they are symmetrically arranged to delight both the literary palate and the visual senses.

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