(c. 1283 - c. 1350), Spain. A principal figure in medieval Spanish literature, Ruiz is unfortunately a poet about whom little is known. His greatest surviving work, the Libro de buen amor, is regarded as one of the finest collections of light verse in any language. It is a broad palette of styles and subjects, including fables, love songs, religious poetry, anticlerical satire, and pastoral verse.
These works found their sources in popular poetry, fabliaux, Arabic writings, and even the poetry of ancients. The meter is Alexandrine, but with an expressive latitude not exercised by previous poets. Among the characters was Trotaconventos, the first great character of Spanish literature, and one of the first major literary comic characters.
Written by Mary-Anne Vetterling, Regis College, Weston, MA