Chaucer’s maturity as a poet is reflected in his later lyric poems in at least three ways: first, the prevailing theme changed from universal love in itself (or, as will be seen in the next chapter, courtly love in itself) to the exploration of the ironic discrepancies between universal love and those things which human beings substitute for it—particularly mundane love. Secondly, Chaucer seems to have become more fascinated with philosophic nominalism as he grew older. He was especially interested in the nominalist argument that the mind can know only particulars rather than universals, and he sought in several ways to particularize the subject matter of his poetry. Furthermore, the interest in the corruption of language which Chaucer began to explore in Lak of Stedfastnesse and The Former Age, along with his natural curiosity about words and his inclination to experiment with language, naturally led Chaucer to explore the nominalist distrust of terms: since words were several steps removed from the direct experience of the particular, the ability of words to communicate the truth accurately in a manner which the human mind could understand was highly suspect.