Kennedy, Walter

▪ Scottish poet
born c. 1460
died c. 1508

      Scottish poet, remembered chiefly for his flyting (Scots dialect: “scolding”) with his professional rival William Dunbar. The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie, in which the two poets alternate in heaping outrageous abuse on one another, is the outstanding example of this favourite sport of the 16th-century Scots poets.

      Kennedy was the younger brother of John, 2nd Lord Kennedy of Dunure in Ayr, and a descendant of Robert III. He was graduated from Glasgow in 1476 and received his M.A. in 1478. Little else is known about his life. Dunbar's poetic portrait of Kennedy in the flyting is a remarkable piece of grotesquerie; it may be realistic caricature, but there is probably no truth in his farcical account of Kennedy's life. The remainder of Kennedy's work is mainly religious.

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