3 responses

  1. It’s unfortunate that OED used the word “mutability” to describe a traditional medieval poetic practice . Ubi sunt (Latin “Where are…”) was more about the lament of having lost certain things, the changes made by the passage of time, regret for the passing of the “good old days,” as in the very famous poetic example of ubi sunt: “Where are the snows of yesteryear….”

    I guess your verse, here, wants to hold all that up to ridicule? Or am I missing something….

    • The OED definition does appear to be an oversimplification. I was unaware of the ubi sunt genre prior to reading that definition. I’m glad you also found the use of ‘mutability’ to be unfortunate; that’s what my limerick is responding to. It’s not an attempt to ridicule the genre by any means.

      Would it be fair to say that ‘mutability’ is traditionally what has been revealed by ubi sunt styled poetry?

      That seems to be the case from my reading in the last day, but I’m not sure why a “where are…?” question should require a definitional commitment to believing in or even affirming mutability.

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the practice, Cynthia! It has encouraged me to do some more reading into the subject.

      • I’m glad to hear your limerick was responding to that use of “mutability”, and not to the ubi sunt (there is some beautiful medieval poetry in the genre). It makes me think, once again of being careful when I research things on the internet…..which I love to do, because it’s so convenient and quick. But time and time again I remind myself to cross-check things because I’ve gotten some impressions of things that are simply simplistic and just a tad “off”. I wonder how much “mutation” will take place, of the things we think we now know, to the way they are known in the future, after years of googling and wickipedia! Thanks for an interesting discussion, Brad

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