The Medieval period covers 400 years of different poetry texts and can be broken up into five categories
- Primitive Lyrics
- Since the findings of the Kharjas, which are mainly two, three, or four verses, Spanish lyrics, which are written in Mozarabic dialect, are perhaps the oldest of
Romance Europe. The Mozarabic dialect has Latin origins with a combination of Arabic and Hebrew fonts.
- The Epic
- Many parts of Cantar de Mio Cid,
Cantar de Roncesvalles, and Mocedades de Rodrigo are part of the epic. The exact portion of each of these works is disputed among scholars. The Minstrels, over the course of the 12th to the 14th centuries, were driving force of this movement. The Spanish epic likely originated from France. There are also indications of Arabic and Visigoth. It is usually written in series of seven to eight syllables within
- Mester de clerecía
cuaderna vía is the most distinctive verse written in Alexandrine verse, consisting of 12 syllables. Works during the 13th century include religious, epics, historical, advice or knowledge, and adventure themes. Examples of such themes include The Miracles of the Virgin Mary, Poema de Fernán González,
Book of Alexander,
Cato’s Examples, and
Book of Apolonio, respectively. Some works vary and are not necessarily mester de clerecía, but are reflective of it. Such poems are of a discussion nature, such as
Elena y María and Reason to Love. Hagiographic poems include
Life of St. María Egipciaca and
Book of the Three Wise Men. Mature works, like The Book of Good Love and
Rhyming Book of the Palace, were not included in the genre until the 14th century.
- Collection of verse (Cancionero)
- During this movement, language use went from Galician-Portuguese to Castilian. Octosyllable, twelve syllables, and verse of arte mayor were becoming the footing of verses. Main themes derive from Provençal poetry. This form of poetry was generally compilations of verses formed into books, also known as
cancioneros. Main works include Cancionero de Baena,
Cancionero de Estuniga, and
Cancionero General. Other important works from this era include parts of Dance of Death,
Dialogue Between Love and an Old Man, verses of
Mingo Revulgo, and verses of the
- The romanceros have no set number of octosyllables, but these poems are only parallel in this form.
Romancero Viejo consists of the oldest poems in these epochs, which are anonymous. The largest amount of romances comes from the 16th century, although early works were from the 14th century. Many musicians of Spain used these poems in their pieces throughout the Renaissance. Cut offs, archaic speech, and recurrent dialogue are common characteristics among these poems; however the type and focus were diverse. Lyrical romances are also a sizeable part of this era. During the 17th century, they were recycled and renewed. Some authors still stayed consistent with the original format. By the 20th century, the tradition still continued.
Early Middle Ages
Later Middle Ages