19. Iacobus Nicholai de Dacia. "Liber de distinctione metrorum: Metrum XXIX," 1363.
Published here in: Aage Kabell. Iacobus Nicholai de Dacia: Liber de distinctione metrorum, mit einleitung und glossar. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksell, 1967.
Davis Library.

Iacobus Nicholai (as he is most commonly known) was one of the lone authors to keep the tradition of carmina cancellata alive in the late middle ages. What sets his work apart from that of Optatian, Fortunatus, Maurus and other progenitors is his liberation of the poetry from the quadrata grid format. Iacobus is still interested in clever construction, however, and developed models of his own. His poems take the forms of varied geometrical shapes (not limited to rectilinear forms) with interlocking lines, like intexts without a main poem. Furthermore, each poem is built upon a single letter of the alphabet — in this case, "M" — which appears as the first, middle, and last letter of every line. These letters also become the vertices where lines cross, and the reader is free to change direction, leading to many possible interpretations.

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