Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Pearl Poet
The Pearl Poet is the name given to the author of Pearl, an alliterative poem written in Middle English. Its author appears also to have been the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, and Cleanness. The single folio manuscript of all of his works is known as Cotton Nero A x from the Cotton library.
We know that the poet was a contemporary of Geofrey Chaucer's, and it is tantalizing to imagine that Chaucer is referring to the Pearl Poet when he says that he is incapable of writing interlocking lines the way others do. Other than this very small amount, nothing is known at all about the author. His Pearl speaks of a daughter, and the poetry is exceptionally conversant with learning. However, the Pearl Poet never refers to contemporary scholarship, the way that Chaucer does, and shows much more of a tendency to refer to legendary materials from the past than any new learning, so it is impossible to place the poet at court, the universities, or monasteries.
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