Title Background

When God Whistled for Chickens: Birds and Poverty in <i>Piers Plowman</i> B.15.462–82.

When God Whistled for Chickens: Birds and Poverty in Piers Plowman B.15.462–82.

Hill discusses biblical and exegetical contexts informing Anima’s image of hand- ed chickens in this passage of PPl. Presenting relevant citations from the Vulgate, and commentary from Gregory and Hugh of St Cher, Hill notes the traditional  association of ‘whistling’ with divine revelation (p. 32) and between ‘fatlings’ (altilia) and fowls in the Matthean parable to which L refers. L’s interest in avian figures as ‘paradigms of the religious life’ (p. 57), Hill argues, arises from a conception of good Christians who are both ‘free to fly above earthly concerns and part of a hand-fed flock that should come at its master’s whistle to be nourished’ (p. 58).

Volume

YLS, 19 (2006), 45–58.

Author

Hill, Thomas D.