Monday, February 29, 2016

Just for fun!

Goeffrey Caucer's Blog:

Yes, I am an old man, and that gives me right to say what I think. I come here to instruct you, to save you from ruin. My words must give you pause, if not wisdom. Wisdom, is, mayhap, too much to expect from the callow youth of today. But here is what I say:


What I tell you (don't turn away--listen to your betters) is that I do mind if clumsy folk who claim literacy, but feel nothing for the beauty of our historic language, try to write poetry. They even change my own words and then claim I wrote their bastard verses. Pfaugh. They bring ruin and ugliness to language. Do you dare deny what I say as you read my original words and hear them within your very being?

When that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droughte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Then hear this bastard version:

When that April if his showres droopeth
The droughte of March had perced to the rooteth,
And bathed every veine in sweet licuor,
Which engenders virtue to the fluer:

Or (I can barely write it) my lovely words buried in what is called modern American English but must surely be, (I hope it),  a foreign tongue:

When in April sweet showers fall
And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all
The veins are bathed in liquor of such power
As brings about the engendering of the flower.

Oh, hear me as I stoop low to write in your language! Are the folk of this twenty-first century so numb-minded they cannot manage true poetry as I wrote it in my Canterbury Tales? I shared a lifetime of encounters with the fascinating folk of 14th century England. Will all of you turn aside from this bounty? Did I return to teach you in vain? 

So be it.

Geoffrey Chaucer

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

No drought here in March, but he was in a different time and place. Beautiful poetry!