"Whan that Aprill" Weekend

Gentil rederes,

Oones ayein ich must demaunde yower pardoun, for many dayes haue passid syn ich haue poosted heere. BSL, the humoures of my bodye and the accion of the yeeres hath doon me gret displesaunce, for whanne ich visited the physician and he did examyne myn uryne he did fynde gret amountes of "bad cholesterol" in my choler and not ynogh "good cholesterol" in myn phlegm. And thus he did avise wyth muchel wagging of the fingre that ich sholde keepe mesure in myn diete and ete no superfluitee of food, and also that ich sholde taak up sum maner of exercise. Whanne ich cam hoom, Philippe was in gret joye to lerne of this, for she seyd that ich was "blowing up lyk post-Kevin Britney."

So ich haue ben yiven up to sondry peynes and tormentes far more grevous than thos recorded in the helle of Dant -- many grim machines that doon twisten myn limbes this wey and that, and bicycles the which travel no wher (ywis, hym Sisyphus wolde haue a conveyance swich as thes 'stationary bicycles' which labor the legges but move nat oon paas forward), and large men who clamor at me to "feele the burn." Ywis, ich wolde rather feele the burne of the flaymes of sathanas than feele the burn of the gym! Ich wolde rather be on a desert island y-stranded wyth Johannes Gower than to jog thurgh Kente wyth a litel headband and sum sport shoon.

But for to coom to my mateere, savyng myn owene personal peynes, this is a tyme of celebracioun. Yt hath been moore than a yeere syn this blog hath been at blogspot. And eek it is a tyme of the yeere that bringeth me muchel joye. And thus, in the spirit of an poost from last yeere, ich wolde aske yow, my gentil rederes, to celebrate myn werkes:

...ich praye yow permitten me oon smal moment of sentimente.

This week-ende shall see the firste daye of Aprille. Bifor Aprille was the cruellest moneth (whatever that meneth!), it was a moneth of coloures and cries, and pilgrymages. Yt was, I sholde saye, myn favourite moneth.

Ich am nat oon to tooten myne owen horne, but this week-ende ich wolde asken yow to declaymen my tales. To yowrselves, to yowr frendes, or simplye in the marketplace or churchyarde. For charitees sake, ye coulde declaymen them to beggares, leperes, or humorlesse rogues who studien engineerynge. Wherever ye proclaymen them thogh, do yt so in loude voyse and cleere, for yt is only fooles who think a poeme lith on the page aloone.

Yf thou knowst nat this maner of Englyssh, be nat ashamed. Yf thou kanst reden thys blogge, thou kanst reden myn Englisshe. Talke to yt slowlie, as if it were an olde relative whom thou lovest verie muche, and yt shal talke back to thee.

I, Galfridus Chaucer, do invite all my rederes to poost yower contribuciouns as comments to this poost - ye maye make videoes for ye-tube of redynges of myn werkes or of adaptaciouns, ye maye poost linkes to mp3s, or to events, or to peyntures or animaciouns or what-evir ye wolde present to the othir rederes of myn blog to celebrate this joyous moneth. Thos who teche or studye myn werkes may leve testamentz of experiences in yower class roomes, or explain why or whan ye first began to studien myn writinges. May it plese yow to linke, quote, cite and pass this on!

Ye may fynde myn tales heere or on the websytes ich list on myn sidebar.

A very happy "Whan that Aprill" Weekend to yow.

And now, ich must go run for an hour.

41 comment ""Whan that Aprill" Weekend"

  1. O Geffrey, I praye for thi soul. Thou art gultyf here to underake a thyng lik this touchende unto the vices of pride and lust and to don it so sinfully in the seson of Lent. I axe the, get the to a shrift-fader and confess and leve off from this vanitee, or thou schalt sore repente the whan the Juge of all shall come. Also I appeal the Geffrey Chaucer that thou art a jerk! JERK! JERK!

    Johannes GOWER

  2. O great Chaucer, though I am not worthy, I ask that you listen to my reading of the first eighteen lines of your General Prologue, which I prepared last April in an attempt to seduce a woman. The link is here:


    This year, I plan on doing a reading of your Tales in a public area of campus. Hopefully I can find someone to film it for me.

  3. "O great Chaucer, though I am not worthy...."

    Mon Cher Thomas,

    Many thankes for poosting the first linke for WTAW. Yet "O great Chaucer" doth put me off a litel -- is that a japery concerninge my girth?

    Haue a murye WTAW!
    Le Vostre

  4. Whan that Aprille doth March displace,
    with weping, walinge, and cryes folk do disporte
    for there beth ne shelter ne resorte,
    The IRS doth every fotestepe trace,
    and will nat grante even a minute's grace,
    an ye paye not, thenne the kyng his courte,
    shall distrain on ye, and ye shall falle shorte.
    Empty will be thyne pockets,and longe thyn face.
    The reeve and miller shall with bailie strive,
    the wyfe of Bath shall kepe a civil tongue,
    and franklin shall kepe cheke upon fre thoughte;
    tis not the time for knight or squire to wyve,
    the prioresse shalle nat of love have sunge,
    and all take care to do the thinges they oughte.

  5. Thank you, GC, for foregrounding the joy in Chaucer. We scholars are serious people. We live in a realm of contented historicism, long footnotes, diligent contextual work ... and while it is valuable to know the topical background to various references and the sober social critique in many of the tales, it is also very good to be reminded their sheer joie de vivre.

    You'll be happy to know I started my Chaucer class this year with handouts printed from the blog. My students were amazed that Chaucer had written of a certain celebutant named Paris.

  6. For to honour 'Whan that Aprill Weekend', I have declaymed some fewe wordes from the Tale of Sir Thopas, who bereth the flour of roial chivalry.

    Indeed, I confess that I gretely love drasty rymyng.


  7. Today - on this 1 April in York - it is Palm Sunday. It is a beautiful, bright, breezy, sunny spring day and the daffodils are out in full force along the walls.

    The city is full of tourists and shoppers, but a good sprinkling of 'burgers' are walking home from the Minster, their palm crosses plain against their still dark winter clothes.

    So Mr Chaucer, I thought you ought to have some northern dialect to brighten your day. The following passage seemed the most appropriate to the season:

    Burger 2
    Hayll florisshand floure that neuere shall fade,
    Hayll vyolett vernand with swete odoure,
    Hayll marke of myrthe oure medecyne made,
    Hayll blossome bright, hayll oure socoure,
    Hayll kyng comely.
    Hayll menskfull man, we the honnoure
    With herte frely.

  8. Hwæt, god hlaford Chaucer! On ‏þisse dæg þæt begynneth þæt mona‏þ yow yclepst “Aprille” – on seo ealdre englisc hit bið cleped “Eostre-Monað” – ic wolde presente yow wið a gifte. Ic hæve awendan -- ‏þæt bið, ic thynke, translated on yowre speeche – vostre prologue to ‏þin Tales of Caunterburye (which that everichon woot welle!) into min propre latyn! Ic hope ‏thatte yow hit lyke! (hit wæs a lytel hard, for vostre englisc hæð maade micel chaunges!)

    Hwæt! Ða Eostre-mona‏þ mid his regne swete,
    ‏þæt drygenysse of Hreð-mona‏þ ‏þurhdrifode to þam wyrtrumum,
    7 baðe‏þ hwelce ædre on swelce wine,
    fram hwilc gehwilce bloma bið weaxode.
    Hwæt! Ða ‏þæt winde fram weste, mid his æþm swete,
    onbærnode on hwelce holte ond hege
    seo geong leafes, ond seo sunne ealswa geong
    on se tacn of weðera his ryne farode,
    ond lytel fugeles songes singa‏þ
    ond slæpeð eall seo niht mid eagen openode
    (swa gecynde ‏þā þurhdrifeð on ‏þære modes);
    ‏Ða folces willað gan on elðiodignes!

  9. evden eve nakliyatApril 2, 2007 at 12:58 AM

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  10. Maister Chaucer...ich haue loued yowre rymes for a longe tyme, and ich haue bored manye bryght yonge mindes by sayinge so incessantly. Proofe of my longstandynge deuotioune (rymed drastily, alas, wyth uncouthe wordes) canne bee founde on thys page, yn the entree att the top (yt ys too...wyde...to poste heere):


  11. Thank you for your brilliant blog. It helped me with a style exercise for writing class. Oh, and you also provided me with much entertainment as well!

  12. Master Chaucer,
    I have bookmarked thy blog, so that I may enjoy thy writings again and laugh as I have just been doing. Thank you!

  13. Yo, Geoffrey, babe. I just want to thank you for allowing the printing of "The Riverside Chaucer." I hope you'll enjoy a little ditty I wrote for my managers at B&N, if for no other reason because I found myself obliged to actually open "The Riverside Chaucer" to find just the right word for a particular verse. Hope you like it:

    Oh, he’s a sneaky one, he is,
    Who walks unseen throughout the store,
    Whose venti sodas glop and fizz
    In puddles gumming up the floor.

    Each coffee cup and ice cream spoon?
    A trashy exclamation point
    To end each taunting missive strewn
    (As birds will brand-new cars anoint)

    In dollops, splots, and gooey stains
    In every aisle, on every shelf,
    To set his mark on our domains
    And turn our merchandise to pelf.

    His bathroom habits? So it’s writ:
    “Ye day of doome is comme true,
    Who on the porcelain must sit
    Where wild monkeys fling their [. . . can’t quite make out this last word] .”

    Thus, everything, our guest demands,
    Must know his grubby, mangling touch
    (And so: those furtive teenage hands
    With Kama Sutras in the clutch).

    His name is “Entropy”, that schmuck;
    He treads the long and weary day,
    And does with messy demons truck.
    Who let the slob in, anyway?

    (Be nice to your local booksellers, folks.)

  14. Kind sir,

    To this lover of the Middle Ages, your blog is a breath of fresh air!

    I have visited your grave in Westminster Abbey, and I have always been a fan of your work since I studied you in high school and then later in college. "The Miller's Tale" is particularly hysterical! Also, it's always been a thing of pride that my parent's house is in a neighborhood subdivision called "Canterbury."

    Happy April!


  15. Whan thatte it were somer in the yeer of Our Lorde 1996 (helas, not in the monthe of Aprille!) ich did verily walk from Southwark Cathedrale (ich did find no Tabard there), from there wendynge unto the stacioun of the traine, where ich did buye a tickette for passage to the holie shrine and citie of Canterbury, and there did open thy booke, and loudlie did ich declayme thine Prologue to alle who wold listen, the while the journeye did continue from Londoun.
    Ich do truely luve thine blogge, O Geoffroi.

  16. Godlie Geoffroi!

    Herewith ich drynke thyne helth right joyfulle in ein bumper of thyne owne smokynge hotte mull'd meade!

    Aye, thou redeste aright: thys noble meade (yt e'en be sold with ye cunnynge littel pakettes o' mullynge spyces) be thyne owne - or such I hope is ye meynynge of ye webbesyte yclept www.chaucerswine.com (Ich praye that thys bottel be notte aftere alle ye produckte of swine).

    But ich dygresseth.

    Ich feere not greytley that ich be drynkynge hoggespysse: thys meade ys a droppe nigh on as sweete (and yet as spycey) as yr werdes.

    Yt ys meine devowteste wysshe that both thee et me be lyvynge longe hereafter (forwhich ich bid heartyest avaunt to ye Deamon Cholesstre-oil!), for if thys happie cyrcumstansse cometh to passe, then ich may yndolge myneselfe fulle menye yeeres to comme, on ye nectre of yr werthey blogge, moste wyse et wyttie Sir!

  17. I have posted my tribute on my [url=http://whatladder.wordpress.com/]blog[/url]; it includes a reading from the surprisingly popular Sir Thopas. I wonder that he has not been after you for some kind of royalty-sharing.

  18. Cher Msr. Chaucer,

    Ich hav yfounden yowr requeste for homage to yowr werk a tad lat, boot ich have i-don it anywei. Yowtub.com hath povre qualitee, so ich have yposted it on min Xanga and told all min frendes aboot it.


    There is als well a small tributee to that anonymous poet of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

  19. Wonderful work, Just logged on today, will be coming back!

  20. Exotic Ho Chi Minh City, still referred to as 'Saigon' by many, has preserved its distinctly Asian feel and ancient culture, where monks pray in the numerous pagodas, temples and mosques. The capital Hanoi, is a pleasant and charming city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks. The old quarter, built around the Hoan Kiem Lake, is an architectural museum-piece characterised by its narrow streets. Ha Long Bay, with its 3000-plus islands rising from the clear, emerald waters, dotted with beaches and grottoes created by waves, is one of Vietnam's natural marvels.

  21. Gorgeous! haha I was looking for Geoffrey Chaucer for a report and I came to this site! I'm currently learning Old English too!

  22. In celebration of the month, I'd like to share how I first became a fan of your works. You see, I went to a Catholic high school. And we students being naughty, and our literature teacher being naughtier, we read together "The Miller's Tale," with the condition that we not tell our parents :)

    Needless to say, many a malleable young mind has thought you were the coolest ever since!

  23. Thou haue brought me suche joye. Ich haue loued redynge yowre blog, whyche I founde onlye yestyrday. Ich haue poosted myne delighte at myne owne blog

  24. Arrrrggghhhheth! Much waiting had maddes me wode!!
    ich neddes ynother poste fro Chaucer or hes comrades.

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  26. thank you very nice topic, thankss. :)

  27. Dere maistre Chaucere min baitere et beatere,

    Yt peines me gretly to see yow haf continued to tormente me these meny monthes whilst I labored under the comaunde of min LORD THE KYNGGE who dide forbid me the wrytyng of eny blogge-postes in this yeere. And especiallye as yore sone Lowys dide cause me thys grevous wronge.

    And I be awhaped thatte yow sit back whilst youre rederes do taunte and baite me dayly whan I can not defend myselve.

    So I feere I schal pas thys anniversary month withouten eny joye. The fact thatte I can see thine hus from mine back felde does note help in eny way.

    --Johannes Gowere

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