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Poetry Guide: Reverdie

The reverdie is an old French poetic genre, which celebrates the arrival of spring. Literally, it means "re-greening". Often the poet will encounter Spring, symbolized by a beautiful woman.

Originating in the troubadour ballads of the early middle ages, reverdies was very popular during the time of Chaucer. T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" and William Carlos Williams' "Spring and All" are both considered to be modern examples of the genre.

The reverdie forms the basis of the Irish aisling, where the speaker meets Ireland lamenting her woes.


Harmon, William. "A Handbook to Literature". Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2005. ISBN 0131344420