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William Dunbar

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William Dunbar
Personal details
BirthEast Lowden 1460
DiedEdinburgh 1520
EddicationVarsity o Saunt Aundraes
Leids spokenScots
Thriftpoet, Catholic priest (en) Owersetan screiver
EmployerVarsity o Saunt Aundraes
Notable wirkThe Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie (en) Owerset
ReeligionRoman Catholic kirk
Reeligious orderOrder of Friars Minor (en) Owerset

William Dunbar (c. 1460 − c. 1520), Scots makar, wis maist likely hameborn til East Lowden.

Life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Dunbar's name kythes in 1477 in the Register o the Faculty o Airts at the Varsity o Saunt Aundraes amang the Determinants or Bachelors o Airts, an in 1479 amang the maisters o the varsity. Syne he jyned the order o Observantine Franciscans, at varsity o Saunt Andraes or Edinburgh, an gaed on tae Fraunce as a wanderin freir. He wis in Picardy, an still abreed in 1491, whan Bothwell's meesion tae siccar a bride for the young James IV o Scotland cam tae the French coort. Aiblins he gaed wi Blackadder, heidbeeshop o Glesca, on a seemilar embassy tae Spain in 1495. But we dae ken mair that he gaed wi that prelate til England on his mair successfu meesion in 1501. Dunbar in atween times (aboot 1500) returned tae Scotland, an haed becam a priest at the coort, an a ryal pensioner.[1]

His leeterar life startit in James's ryal hoosehauld. His poems or entries in the ryal registers o peyments o pension an grants o livery is aw we ken aboot him. Dunbar is spoken o as the 'Rhymer o Scotland' in the accoonts o the Inglis privy cooncil dealin wi the veesit o the meesion for the haund o Margaret Tudor, for he screived a poem in praise o Lunnon, not for, as haes been statit, he wis the Scots makar at the coort.[1]

In 1511 he gaed wi the queen til Aiberdeen an commemoratit her veesit bi writin a poem aboot it. Ither screivins sic as the Orisoun ("Quhen. the Gouernour past in Fraunce"), aboot the settin oot o the regent Albany, is o historical interest, but thay tell us little mair nor Dunbar wis alive.

The date o his daith isna kent. In Lyndsay's Testament and Complaynt of the Papyngo (1530) he is listit wi poets that wis deid at the time, an the reference foregangs that tae Douglas (wha haed dee'd in 1522).

He certies survived his ryal patron, so he could hae dee'd aboot 1520.

First printed obscenity[eedit | eedit soorce]

Dunbar wis reputed tae hae been responsible fur the first prentit uiss o the wird "fuck": his 1503 poem "Brash of Wowing" includes the lines: "Yit be his feiris he wald haif fukkit:/ Ye brek my hairt, my bony ane." [2] Some creetics o modern authors James Kelman or Irvine Welsh appear no tae ken the lang tradeetion afore thair screivin. The pouerfu wird that Dunbar pit intae prent in 1508 wisna made lawfu till efter the obscenity trial o Lady Chatterley's Lover in Inglis, in 1960.

"Back tae Dunbar"[eedit | eedit soorce]

For the Scots Renaissance in the mid-20t century, William Dunbar wis a touchstane. Mony fowk tried tae copy his style, an "hie brou" subject maiter, sic as Hugh MacDiarmid an Sydney Goodsir Smith. As MacDiarmid himsel said, thay haed tae gang, "back tae Dunbar".

See forby[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. a b Foundation, Poetry (19 Januar 2022). "William Dunbar". Poetry Foundation (in Inglis). Retrieved 19 Januar 2022.
  2. Dunbar, William,?-1520 (2003). Selected poems. Harriet Harvey Wood. New York: Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 0-415-96943-3. OCLC 54770748.

Links outwith[eedit | eedit soorce]