Clanvow, Sir John

(circa 1341-1391)
   Clanvow, born possibly near Hereford, was a soldier who fought several campaigns in France. He was knight bachelor to the Earl of Hereford and entered the service of Edward III on Hereford's death in 1373. Then later he was in the service of Richard II and held political offices in England and abroad. He was one of the group of "chamber knights," the most trusted executants of the royal will. He died near Istanbul. Clanvow wrote a religious tract in prose, "The Two Ways," in which he condemns luxury and worldliness and exhorts his readers to obey the commandments and to love God. His main work is "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale or The Book of Cupid God of Love." In the poem Clanvow praises the God of Love, who can make the high even higher, yet bring down the low down to the grave, and hard hearts he can make free. It is love that makes the birds sing in the trees and the branches bust into bud and bloom.
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition, 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Penguin Book of Bird Poetry. Peggy Munsterberg, ed. 1984.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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