[Bards] What is a bard?

Peter Schorn peterschorn at pdq.net
Mon Jun 11 18:44:08 PDT 2007

>this is willow and I have a question to you and your fellow 
>minstrels. What makes a minstrel different from a Bard, or Skald or a 

Your Grace, my definition of the distinction is this: regardless of what
they may call themselves...

A bard's work defines his people;

All other performers simply entertain their people.

Thus Shakespeare is called "The Bard of Stratford-on-Avon," because his work
is definitive (not solely, but to a great degree definitive) of English
literature and the English language, and to a lesser extent definitive of
the culture of English-speaking peoples.

Bards may entertain, and at times they may do no more than that.  And
certainly there's nothing wrong with entertaining exclusively.  But if you
set out merely to entertain, and work hard and carefully and thoughtfully
and well, you may end up, will-nilly, becoming a bard.

Certainly that's what happened to Shakespeare

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