Itinerant poet

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An itinerant poet or strolling minstrel (also known variously as a gleeman, circler, or cantabank) was a wandering minstrel, bard, or other poet common in medieval Europe but extinct today. From a lower class than jesters or jongleurs because he did not have steady work, he instead roamed about to make his living.[1]


In Medieval England, a gleeman was a reciter of poetry. Like the scop, the gleeman performed poetry to the accompaniment of the harp or "glee wood".[1] The gleeman occasionally attached himself to a single/particular court but was most often a wandering entertainer, unlike the scop, who was more static. A gleeman was also less likely to compose or perform his own poetry and relied on the work of others for his material.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bahn, Eugene; Bahn, Margaret (1970). "Medieval Period". A History of Oral Interpretation. Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Co. pp. 56–57.