Definitions containing laïs
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|Marie de France|
Marie de France
Marie de France was a medieval poet who was probably born in France and lived in England during the late 12th century. She lived and wrote at an undisclosed court, but was almost certainly at least known about at the royal court of King Henry II of England. Virtually nothing is known of her life; both her given name and its geographical specification come from her manuscripts, though one contemporary reference to her work and popularity remains. Marie de France wrote a form of Anglo-Norman French, and was evidently proficient in Latin and English as well. She is the author of the Lais of Marie de France. She translated Aesop's Fables from Middle English into Anglo-Norman French and wrote Espurgatoire seint Partiz, Legend of the Purgatory of St. Patrick, based upon a Latin text. Recently she has been identified as the author of a saint's life, The Life of Saint Audrey. Her Lais in particular were and still are widely read, and influenced the subsequent development of the romance genre.
A lai is a lyrical, narrative poem written in octosyllabic couplets that often deals with tales of adventure and romance. Lais were mainly composed in France and Germany, during the 13th and 14th centuries. The English term lay is a 13th-century loan from Old French lai. The origin of the French term itself is unclear, perhaps it is itself a loan from German Leich. An Old Occitan term for a similar kind of poem is descort. The terms note, nota and notula appear to be have been synonyms for lai. The poetic form of the lai usually has several stanzas, none of which have the same form. As a result, the accompanying music consists of sections which do not repeat. This distinguishes the lai from other common types of musically important verse of the period. Towards the end of its development in the 14th century, some lais repeat stanzas, but usually only in the longer examples. There is one very late example of a lai, written to mourn the defeat of the French at the Battle of Agincourt, but no music for it survives.
The octosyllable or octosyllabic verse is a line of verse with eight syllables. It is equivalent to tetrameter verse in iambs or trochees in languages with a stress accent. Its first occurrence is in a 10th-century Old French saint's legend, the Vie de Saint Leger; another early use is in the early 12th-century Anglo-Norman Voyage de saint Brendan. It is often used in French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese poetry. While commonly used in couplets, typical stanzas using octosyllables are: décima, some quatrains, redondilla. In Spanish verse, an octosyllable is a line that has its seventh syllable stressed, on the principle that this would normally be the penultimate syllable of a word. If the final word of a line does not fit this pattern, the line could have eight or seven or nine syllables, thus - In Medieval French literature, the octosyllable rhymed couplet was the most common verse form used in verse chronicles, romances, lais and dits. The meter reached Spain in the 14th century, although commonly with a more varied rhyme scheme than the couplet. The French octosyllablic verse came to England via the Anglo-Norman poets from the 12th-13th centuries and influenced 4 stress tetrameter verse used in narration.