Chaucer's Poetry


The following major works are in rough chronological order but scholars still debate the dating of most of Chaucer's output and works made up from a collection of stories may have been compiled over a long period.

Major works

Short poems

  • An ABC
  • Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn
  • The Complaint unto Pity
  • The Complaint of Chaucer to his Purse
  • The Complaint of Mars
  • The Complaint of Venus
  • A Complaint to His Lady
  • The Former Age
  • Fortune
  • Gentilesse
  • Lak of Stedfastnesse
  • Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan
  • Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton
  • Proverbs
  • Balade to Rosemounde
  • Truth
  • Womanly Noblesse

Poems of dubious authorship

  • Against Women Unconstant
  • A Balade of Complaint
  • Complaynt D'Amours
  • Merciles Beaute
  • The Equatorie of the Planets – A rough translation of a Latin work derived from an Arab work of the same title. It is a description of the construction and use of a planetary equatorium, which was used in calculating planetary orbits and positions (at the time it was believed the sun orbited the Earth). The similar Treatise on the Astrolabe, not usually doubted as Chaucer's work, in addition to Chaucer's name as a gloss to the manuscript are the main pieces of evidence for the ascription to Chaucer. However, the evidence Chaucer wrote such a work is questionable, and as such is not included in The Riverside Chaucer. If Chaucer did not compose this work, it was probably written by a contemporary.

Presumedly lost works

  • Of the Wreched Engendrynge of Mankynde, possible translation of Innocent III's De miseria conditionis humanae
  • Origenes upon the Maudeleyne
  • The Book of the Leoun – "The Book of the Lion" is mentioned in Chaucer's retraction. It has been speculated that it may have been a redaction of Guillaume de Machaut's 'Dit dou lyon,' a story about courtly love (a subject about which Chaucer frequently wrote).

Spurious works

  • The Pilgrim's Tale – written in the 16th century with many Chaucerian allusions
  • The Plowman's Tale or The Complaint of the Ploughman – a Lollard satire later appropriated as a Protestant text
  • Pierce the Ploughman's Crede – a Lollard satire later appropriated by Protestants
  • The Ploughman's Tale – its body is largely a version of Thomas Hoccleve's "Item de Beata Virgine"
  • "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" – Richard Roos's translation of a poem of the same name by Alain Chartier
  • The Testament of Love – actually by Thomas Usk
  • Jack Upland – a Lollard satire
  • The Floure and the Leafe – a 15th-century allegory

Derived works

  • God Spede the Plough – Borrows twelve stanzas of Chaucer's Monk's Tale

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