Open main menu

The New International Encyclopædia/Parliament of Fowls, The

PARLIAMENT OF FOWLS, The, or The Assembly of Fowls. One of Chaucer's minor poems, written in his favorite form of a vision. A student reading the “Dream of Scipio” in Cicero's Republic falls asleep, and is led by Scipio into a garden where nature assembles the birds on Saint Valentine's Day, and holds a court of love. The poem is taken partly from Boccaccio's Tescide and alludes to other Italian sources, but is based mainly on Macrobius's Commentary on Scipio's Dream, a favorite book in the Middle Ages.