A Short Analysis of ‘Sumer Is Icumen In’

We can all gain and learn something from these fantastic medieval literary works, long may they survive and enthrall us.

Interesting Literature

A summary of a classic medieval poem

English poetry begins with a stag breaking wind. Or, at least, it does if you pick up The Oxford Book of English Verse, where the short song, ‘Sumer is icumen in’, begins the book’s chronological selection from eight centuries of English poetry. Dating from the mid-thirteenth century, over a hundred years before Geoffrey Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, ‘Sumer is icumen in’ is therefore one of the earliest examples of English poetry. Here is this wonderful medieval poem along with a short analysis of its meaning and language.

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!

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