To Kalamazoo, wyth Love

O, swete ys the lusti moneth of May, swete aren yts floures and yts gentil zephyrs eke. Euen sweetre ys the facte that ich am aboute to gette a realli goode deale on some lande in Kente. Peraventure, eftsoon ich and myn householde shal be far from stinkye olde Londoun wyth yts large advertisementz and yts almost constante factionale violence. (Ich so do nat care whethir aldermannic elecioun goth by craftes or wardes – the whole mattir ys euen more borynge than the disputez in parliament concerynge the grete yarmouth herrynge monopolye. Haue not thes politicians eny lyves of ther owen?)

Ther is oon othir enchesoun for the swoteness of Maye: yn this moneth ther ys the gatherynge of Kalamazoo. From alle laundes and regiones of the globe of the erthe, folke do come to talke of tymes of yore, to share akademik werke, and to get rioutouslye dronke on free wine. Yt is, ywis, a jolie paradise ful of pleasaunte and lernede peple and muchel joye. Ther is also a daunce at the ende. Ich wolde haue visited thys yeere, but they rejectede myn papere proposal, the whiche ys a thynge of much ridiculousnesse, for the papere was on myn selfe! Thou woldst thynke that ich was somedeel of an experte on that subiecte.

Enyway, so as ich walkede yn a modest but fayre Kentish gardene, the whiche shall soon be myne owen, and thynkede on May the loueres moneth and on the feeste of Kalamazoo, ich happed vpon the counsel of endityng wordes of loue for the vistores to Kalamazoo. Ich shall yive vnto them sum lynes of pick-vppe, with which thei kan earne the affecioun of that especialle homme or femme stayinge at Valley II.

Peraventure yow gentils do wondre at myn givynge of aduice in loue, for ich am a rolli-polli manne -- nat exactlie Colin de Pharelle -- and ich haue nat yflirted wyth eny soule for mony longe yeeres. But thinke on thys, that a whetstone is no kervyng instrument, yet it maketh sherpe kervynge toolis. Al thogh I knowe nat Love in dede thes dayes, ich knowe muche of bookes and muche of myn owen past yeeres and amours.

And thus, lyk vnto a pale shadwe of Ovid that grete writere of loue, lyk ann verye magisterulus amoris, ich gyve unto yow fayre folke thes lynes of picke vppe – sum shorte, sum longe, sum of noble caste and otheres churlishe, sum onlye vseful at kalamazoo and otheres of applicacioun more generale. May the archere Cupide hitte the merke for yow!


-Do sheriffs administere thee to those who breke the kinges peace? Bycause thou lookst “fyne.”

-Yf thou were a latyn tretise ich wolde putte thee in the vernacular.

-Ich do deuote myn diligence to studye of the anatomie of engendrure. Ich haue happed vpon an abstruse passage in the werke of Constantyne the Affrikan De Coitu, the which I kan nat construe. For lernynges sake and the goode of wisdom, woldstow performe the acte of venus withe me so that ich may interpret thys clause in propre wise?

-Ich loved thy papere, but yt wolde looke much better yscattred across the floore of myn rentede dorme roome at dawne.

-Art thou a disastrous poll tax? Bycause I feele a risynge comynge on.

-Nyce bootes. Wanna swyve?

-Thou lookst so mvch lyk an aungel that the friares haue lefte the roome yn terror!

-Shulle we maken the cindreblokke to synge?

-Woldstow haue me shyfte thyne voweles?

-Were thou yn my seisin, ich wolde nevir escheat on thee.

-Thy beaute ys more intoxicatyng than the OVP openne bar.

-Yf thy beautee were an poeme, yt wolde make Dante looke lyk Marcabru.

-The preeste telleth me that we aren more than VII degrees of consanguinitee. Game on!

-Ich notyce that myn demense and thyn do abutte. Wolde yt plese thee to consolidate ovre powere-base in the midlands?

-Makstow a pilgrymage heere often?

-Let vs breake oure mornyng faste togedir tomorrowe. Shal ich sende a page wyth a message for thee, or shal ich wake thee wyth an aubade composid ex tempore?

-Ich coude drynke a yearlye tun of thee.

-Ys thy father a makere of walles? For how else dide he gyve thee svch a tall and fayre forheed?

-Ich haue the tale of Lancelot yn myn roome. Woldstow rede of yt wyth me?

--By my soule, thou art a verye mappe of helle. For thy face lyk the rivere Styx wil make me swere oothes neuer to be fforsworn, and thy embrace lyk the Lethe shal make me foryet al else, and lyk vnto the Flegeton thyn arse ys ON FYRE!

-Woldstow be myn Gaveston?

-Howe abovte a blancmange and the acte of Venus? Whatte, blancmange pleseth thee nat?

-If ich sayde that thou hadde a bele chose, woldstow holde it ayeinst me?

97 comment "To Kalamazoo, wyth Love"

  1. Chaucer, your pick up lines would fully work on me. I sent you an email about using my pix on your shirts, but you did not reply. I fear that you are the kind of guy who picks up a girl after one session and then pretends not to know her at the next.

  2. Maistre Chaucer, Ich am now wel persuaded thatte these lyns of picke-uppe were hoary even en thyn owne daie.

  3. It tikleth me aboute myn herte roote, to thinke upon my yowthe and jolitee, whanne thyn lyns of picke-upp sholde han worked a treate. But age hath me biraft of al swich inclinacioun; wherefor ich shal sitte atte wyn wyth Dottores Doyle and Spangenberg, and Mistress Paula Kate, for to birewe and cry allas! for yonge lust, that may not laste.

  4. Ma Chere Rohina,

    Mea maxima culpa. A thousande pardones, my deere. Ich haue ben so bisy aboute the custoum hous and aboute myn purchas of lande that ich haue neglected thyn letter. Surelye, ich am muchle gladned that thou hast gravnted me reles to putte thyn fayre images on an shirte. Whanne ich nexte planne the shirtes, ich shal emaile thee concernynge the transfer of filez.

    Sine misericordia tua, nihil mihi remaneat

    Le Vostre,


  5. This just might be your funniest post yet.

  6. Geoffrey, atte youre wordes myn herte gan to sprede and rise, ich wolde holde myn chose ayeinst the atte eny tyme. Kysse, kysse xx

  7. OUP has an open bar at KZoo? They don't do that at the APA. Man...I knew I should've gone medieval...

    And your pick-up lines, Mr. Chaucer, sure beat "Can you help me with the ictus of Catullus 16?" or "O such fecundity! Please help me reconstruct the procession to my own Lupercal. I'm at the Hyatt." or "It's not really apotropaic, is it? See, what do you think?

  8. BSL! Yt hath beene some VIII yeeres since laste ich was atte Kalamazoo, and ich was in the goode companie of myn fellowe etudiants de la moyen age, some of whom hadde kindly laide inn a supplie of swete liquers and suche for the occasioun. Therfor, myn memorie of thys evente is a happy on, but a wee bitte vague, si vous catchez mon drifte.

    I am sore aggrievede to heere that thyn papier was rejected. Nexte yeere, peut-etre. Atte anie rate, suche papiers as weere accepted thys yeere probablie alle touche upon the pernicious drivele of a certyn Daniel Brun, and his speculaciouns concerning a certyn Ytalien master of peinture...

  9. Goodly Poet Chaucer,

    Your lynes of picke uppe are of goodly value, but you have failed in one respect when deliveryng said lynes - one must deliver them in a proper, lustie and manly fashion.

  10. Mastre Geffroi,

    Yt doth peine me to here yow intend to etablisse a newe householde in Kente. Canstow not move to Essex or sum autre comite wel aways from mine own? Like Nortehumberlonde?

    I here the islendes of the Hebridees are verraye pleasaunt.

    Certes I kepe my distaunce from Londres to assure yow and youre dronken posse canst not assuate mine dignitee with japes and impolitik tormentes. Must thou nowe breke the pees of mine smale contree estate?

    -- JG

  11. Gowere, ane wankere thou ever wert and ane wankere thou art.


    We haue grete store of euery kinde of Potione and Symple, FUL NATURELE and of auouchede qualite, for ye cure of euery malady, at chepe Internette prices! Herbal uiagra, Leuitra, and eek that ilke Hoodia that hath wrought suche marvels of healynge gainst ye Plague! FREE SHIPPYNGE to alle Strondes!


    Retro me, Spammere


  14. Maistre Geoffrey Chaucer, ye have littel witte in the dysserning of an excellence in the mayking of bookes. Marcabru was an excellent maistre of songs, and nat to be slighted by evere so slee an implicatione.
    Forthi ane pucella thatte hathe skin of whitte sendell, an es lithesome of ei an knoweth ane thinge about bookes, would nat be swayyed on seconde by the linnes that ye haf ywriitten.

  15. Goode maistre Cowpwer, sen that bothe Chaucer and Marcabru ben booke makkeres, which of the twain, thinkstow, would better oddes me give atte the next meeting at Epsom?

  16. Myn deere gentil Geoffrye:

    As I seye whan I speke to yow bifore on a tyme, I wolde goon to Kalamazoo and I wolde se there what I mote, and incres my lerning thereby. And eek I seye that I wolde goon to the gatherynge of the Gowere Societee, and I wolde ther here wat theye telle and reporte it back to yow anon.

    I purpos me thenne to go wyth thy t-shirte onne, and decry Gowere as wankere, but alas, myn herte, it faileth me. Eftsoones I decyde to go under-covere, and I decyde not to seye that I be membere of Chaucer's posse, so that I may be depe in hir counselle.

    Alass, myn Geoffrye, I fere that I dyd lerne Gowere also hath a posse! And theye be of lerning depe and subtil, Geoffrye, as feresome and wys as any in al the lande, ful of knowlegge and persuasioun. Nat one of them but hath high degre. And theye nat be lay-aboutes; but theye toile with constaunce in Gowere's increese, and his vertu telle to al with grete devocioun and gentilesse. And theye did plye the masses, Geoffrye, with wyn and al mannere of drynk for which we nede nat paye.

    And yette at the gatherynge I did more than share a plesaunt libacioun, myn frend. I lerned me of hir planne. Theye did agre that they mote sprede Gowere's fame both nere and farre, for theye wolde perce the unrighteous wyth arrowes, or so it saith on hir webbe-syght. Alredy have theye talkede to the grete Norton, and he seye he wol publisshe Gowere in the eighte edicioun of hys anthologie. And eek they have publisshede Gowere in translacioun, so that theye myghte use thy beloved vernacular for Gowere's increse. Theye even speke of a gatheryinge: a greet parliamente in Londoun in two yeere, where theye may spred Gowere's fame and talk of his vertu and share swote felawscipe. And theye shal have yt podde-caste.

    Theye are ernest men and trewe, Geoffrye; theye mene busynesse. There was ane grete manne who spake more than aught othir, hym being a manne highe of posicioun in the Societee and eke of greet determinacioun, and he did swere fealtie to Gowere long ygoon. I shal not telle what he ys ycleped, lest he be wyth me wrothe, for I owe hym grete debt in myn own scoleying. But as nyghte grewe late, he speke wyth the ful confidaunce of hys frend Jak Danil, who was much aboute-- and I here him seye that he ne careth for natte evene yf Gowere decyde to were undere-clothes in shadde of pynke; an thatte Gowere's fame sholde be spred therebye.

    Thys same manne did make clere that yt wolde be ful wys yf I were to join Gowere's posse, Geoffrye, thatte I may share in Gowere's fame as yt I swynke to increse. He sheweth me the turnynge of Fortvne's wheele. Trewely, I am yn sore temptacioun, and al the nyghte laste I dyd suffir from wepynge and rewe, for doth the lawe nat saye, "Publisshe or perysshe?" Verily yt doth.

    Yt maketh me to wonder yf I maye scoleye and rede thow bothe, and yet I wolde natte have yow be wyth me wrothe.

    I recal that thou didst counsel me on a tyme that I ne be smarte-arse to Gowere's posse, for literature be rare and eek precious, and that I holpe aduance yt natte therebye. Therfor I appeale thee, Geoffrye, that thou burie thy wrath wyth Gowere, and sende hym the olive braunch, that thou be frendes anon. Mayhap thow myghte incres thyn owen wynnynge therbye!

    Or at leest, if yow can natte se thy waye clere to graunt forgivenesse and make pees wyth Johannes Gowere, I hope that yow wol absolve me of my guilte, and forgiveth me of myn owene wekenesse.

    In closynge, lest yow thynke that woman be a fickle creature, gat-tothed, false, and thatte she shal nevir be trewe, I seke to remynde thee thatte thogh I maye labour in Gowere's wynyerde and for hym swynke, myn herte wyl hold yow my firste love alway.

    --Alisoun de Pynne-Spruce

  17. I am totally hooked. Mr. Chaucer, you have a place in my most recent novel, so it makes me happy to see you trolling around the blogosphere.

  18. Betwene merch and averil when spray begynth to springe,
    The luttel fowle hath hire wille on hire luth to synge...

    Ich woulde ful wel synge it to thee, but with muchel mournyng ich confesse myn lack of a (hwat sssssssshal ich clep the thynge?) microfone. Thou soldest haue more songes fram thine owne time on thine IPod. :)

  19. Goder Dagh, Chaucer! Chekk ovt ovr gycklare weblog på Thet är dokk på swänska, men dv komma att ghilla thän!

  20. It doe seem that those who studie of the Mediaeval Era doe have all the funn.

    Seriouslie, I am out here, trampyng through the wildes, while goodly Chaucer sits in a most comfourtable house, writes muche poetry, and still he recieves all the attention!

  21. Captain Smith, is there not, perchance, some Indian maiden who might be worthy of your suit?

  22. M. Chaucer, good to see you again. Can we look forward to more material of yours from our fine publishing houses soon?

  23. Yes, Captain, it makes up for working in other fields!!

    (But, I would forswear the dance, were I you. It is... alarming.)

  24. Patsy of AquitaineJune 1, 2007 at 6:45 AM

    This is a tardy post but I had to ask ... you speak much of the zoo, but what of Leeds? Do you spurn the northern enclave of the medievalist? I really want to try out 'Were thou yn my seisin, ich wolde nevir escheat on thee' on the Wednesday night.

  25. Ich speke in trouthe, myn dere, that thyn fyne lynes trewely lyghten myn moode. Yf yt were nat unseemlye for to laughe with bolde and lyvely chortle here in the hawle of scolers and grete bookes and quiete thoughte, Ich woulde laughe from myn herte! Though yf ich were to meete ye in a tavern, Ich would stryke ye upon the cheke and calle ye a wankere!

  26. Chaucer, I had an absolutely horrible day, and fortunately my professor mentioned your blog in class today. This post made me feel so much better. Thank you, good sir.

  27. Deare Mr. Chaucer,
    Ay thinketh that youre pikup lins wuld wurk on me. Thou is verry persuasiv. Thoogh I feare thou art thee kinde of purson that wuld pik up a girle and thenn pretennd to knowe not of her laater.
    Howevere, Mr. Chaucer, Thou now hasth a place in mine herte.

  28. Gretynges Chaucer, Loue.

    Howe art thou yn thees dayes?

    Ich jvste wantedde to telle thou thatte thou amuze me yn mi mynde but thou amuze mi eek yn mi houppeland. Sin thou cretedde the Lynes of Pickevppe ich felle yt necessrye to ynforme thou of somme lynes of my owne:

    * Doth thou woulde to gathere sum hynts from the squire who gonne sleppe namore than dooth a nightingale?

    * Ys thatte a mirore yn yorre pockette outher art thou hapye to see mi?

    * Dyd yt hurte? Whenne thou fellest fromme Heaven?

    * Parrdone me fayre geentlemane, ich loste the substuance of mi father, moot ich sleppe yn thou dwelynges?

    Yt ys mi hoop thatte thou wolde spende a eevnyng wyth mi yf thou felest yt the neckst steppe yn owre prowgresyng relashunshyp. Thanckest thou fyne Chaucer.


  29. comme tujeurs, vouz avez les plus bele mots....pour un hom d' Angleterre.

    -La bele dam sans merci

  30. Hygelac, cyning GeataAugust 26, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    La, swa on dagum minum hæfdon we micel lynnum pick-uppa!

    -Gif guð me nime, ic wolde þæt min cyn þe beornan on minum scipum!

    -Þu mægst clepan me Unferð, for min sweord hæfþ næfre geswicen.

    -Dyde hit sceaðan, hwonne þu feoll fram Æsgeard?

    -Grimme eoten hæfð mi meduselde geneosed gryrum guðum. Mæg ic secan gerumlicor ræst mid þe?

    -Ic cuðe ðe hleowan for ealle fimbulwintra.


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  63. Islam aleminin en büyük islami sohbet odaları sizlere dini sohbet konularında paylaşım imkanı sunmaktadır.


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