Your job is to comment and keep me motivated! Let me know you’re out there and following along. Can she make it? Will she? Of course she will! With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.
So without further ado, here is today’s post.
M is for Makar. Yes, I thought we’d learn a new word today. Makar. A poet, a bard, a school of poetry begun in the Middle Ages in Scotland, often meant to refer to the royal or court poet.
In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Makar innovations in poetry included bringing into the local language new and greater variety of poetic structures from Europe.
James I, the likely author of the Kingis Quair, describing the King’s capture and imprisonment by the English in 1406, is said to be the first Makar. He ruled in the 15th century.
But the court of James IV, who was something of a Rennaissance man (see J is for James), is said to be the high point of the Makar movement. For example, The Thrissil and the Rois is a poem composed by William Dunbar to mark the 1503 wedding of James IV to Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII. Dunbar is commemorated in Makars’ Court, outside The Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh.
When James VI took the Scottish court to London in 1603 (becoming James 1 of England), the form began to fall out of favor. But it did not fade away completely.
Edinburgh instituted a post of Edinburgh Makar in 2002. Glasgow, Stirling and Aberdeen also have Makar posts. A position of national poet laureate, entitled The Scots Makar, was established in 2004 by the Scottish Parliament.
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