Friday, April 13, 2007

The Canterbury Tales
by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)

from The General Prologue

Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote
The droght of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yoonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne;
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye--
So priketh hem Nature in hir corages--
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond to Caunterbury the wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

This poem spells Spring to many people. I get that feeling :)

In addition, I selected it in hopes that DD#2, who is taking a college course dedicated to this tale, will read these lines aloud to me. Edit: Save this link to audio versions of some poetry

While perusing Americans' Favorite Poems (an interesting project in and of itself), I discovered several more poems to highlight over the course of the coming month. But it takes pouring over a variety of anthologies and such to find poems I really like. And old stand-by is The Best Loved Poems of the American People. What's neat about my 1936 copy is that it belonged to a great aunt, who has made marks by the ones she liked: a little glimpse into her tastes.

What's the title of one of your favorite poetry books?


  1. What a perfect selection! I've enjoyed the variety of poetry you've shared this month, Dana!

  2. At the moment, Anthology of Old English poems. We plan to read Chaucer at the end of the school year. We have to make it through Dante first. This is a lovely appetizer, though!