Michael of Kildare
?1280-?; medicant Franciscan friar, poet in Latin and English; supposed author of The Land of Cockayne, 1305), held in an illuminated MSS in British Museum (The Land of Cokayne: Poems of Michael of Kildare, &c.); describes a sybaritic monastery of which the very walls are made of pasties, meat, fish, rich fare and puddings [pasteiis, of fleis, of fisse and riche met, with pinnacles of fat podinges]; one of his poems is included in Dr Heuser, ed. Kildare-Gedichte (q.d.); he is included in Crokers Popular Songs of Ireland (1839), where his Entrenchment of Ross is trans. by Letitia Landon. PI DIW OCIL
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see Angela M. Lucas, Anglo-Irish Poems of the Middle Ages (Columbia Press 1995), 208pp. [bilingual edn. of MSS in BL Harley 413] Also Malachi McCormick, trans., Land of Cokaygne / The Irish Utopia by Friar Michael of Kildaire (NY: Stone Street Press ) [see online; accessed 01.05.2011].
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Russell Alspach, Irish Poetry from the English Invasion to 1798 (Phil: Pennsylvania UP 1959), p14ff., cites discussions of provenance and identity of Friar Michael in Crofton Croker, Popular Songs of Ireland, pp.262-71; W. Heuser, Die Kildare-Gedichte, pp.1-19; St John Seymour, Anglo-Irish Literature, 1200-1582, pp.5-6. Poems in the manuscript (Harley 913; Bibliothecae Harleianae) incl. Sweet Iesus; The Land of Cockayne; Elde; Erthe; Lullaby; Five Evil Things; Nego, and A Rhyme-Beginning and Fragment.
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A. N. Jeffares, Anglo-Irish Literature (London: Macmillan 1982), p.10 [index, Michael, Friar], notes that there were three famous monasteries in Kildare, Franciscan and Carmelite houses of Grey and White Friars, as well as St Brigits double monastery of monks and nuns. Further: It was probably in the Franciscan monastery of the Grey Friars that Friar Michael wrote Sweet Jesus [This worlds love is gone away / As dew on grass in summers day / Few there be well-a-way / That love God his lore / All we be iclung so clay / We should rue that sore; / Prince and King, what think they / To live evermore? / Leave your play, and cry aye / Jesus Christ thine ore! Stanza 2] included in Harley MS 913 with four other pieces possibly by Friar Michael.
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