“The Sermon on Saint Nobody”: A Verse Translation of a Middle Dutch Parodic Sermon
2012-05-16T09:08:57Z (GMT) by
During the medieval and early modern periods, the mock sermon was one of the most widely staged festive rituals. There are records of its performance in most European countries and cultures. But despite its clear popularity in England, few of these texts are extant in English. Fewer still have been translated in their entirety. To remedy this situation, we provide here a translation of the sixteenthcentury Dutch poem Spotsermoen over Sint Niemand. This piece embodies most of the key features of the mock sermon; the text’s rhetorical strategies, its content, and the details it reveals about its performance are all typical of the genre. Thus, the poem is offered as a specimen of the mock sermon’s overall conventions and forms.