Whan that Aprille....

Sunday, 29 April 2012


with his shoures soote


The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote


And bathed every veyne in swich licour


Of which vertu engendred is the flour;


Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth 

Quince blossoms blown away by Zephyr

Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne, 
And smale foweles maken melodye,

Smale fowle too wet and windswept to make melodye

That slepen al the nyght with open ye 
 (so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, 


I'm not actually longing to go on a pilgrimage. I'm not even keen to go outside to get a bay leaf for the fish stew I'm planning for supper. I think 'shoures soote' and the 'sweete breeth' of Zephirus are something of an understatement Mr Chaucer.

For a translation of Chaucer's Prologue to The Canterbury Tales look here.

21 comments:

  1. Granny Dot3:30 pm BST

    Wry, Sue, wry!
    April is the cruellest month? (T.S. Eliot)

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    Replies
    1. Must admit TS Eliot was on my mind too.

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  2. Granny Dot4:02 pm BST

    Really look forward to your posts Sue, both the wry and the imformative. Keep 'em coming.

    Feel almost guilty that it's sunny here in The Frozen North....almost but not quite!

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  3. Thank you. I loved that. I really enjoyed the photo of the 'Smale fowle too wet and windswept to make melodye' that accompanied your text too.

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  4. Brilliant.

    I'm guessing Chaucer might have made a pie out of that particular small fowl!

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  5. The pigeons are the only thing that keeps appearing in our garden to they must like the rain!
    Sarah x

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  6. Lovely post, Sue, very apt. (Took me back a few decades too!) Our sunshine has been out the last 2 hours but otherwise we have had rain rain rain in Norfolk all weekend. This cheered me up!

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    Replies
    1. Yep, brightening here too.

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  7. Do you think that it is over for a while? I do hope so, it has made me so miserable.

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    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed Toffee.

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  8. Pati from London5:48 pm BST

    For one second, I thought you had learnt Danish...:-)))
    Lovely, Pati x

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    Replies
    1. Now that made me laugh out loud Pati, thank you!

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  9. Eek, whizzed straight back to 1987 - had to learn that off by heart for GCSE English.

    There had better be May flowers after all these April showers or I'm emigrating!

    Heather x

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    Replies
    1. Actually, it was 1988 which makes me feel marginally better ...

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    2. It was so long ago for me that it was called an o level.

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  10. I'm also waiting for it to stop licourin' so I can sprint for a sprig of rosemary.

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  11. Hey, Pink Milk, me too. I loved it and SmallBean has a love for Chaucer too. Our love for the rain has stopped. Days ago. And if anyone else says 'It is good for the garden,' I might punch them.
    Ax

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  12. So clever! And it all came rushing back. I had to swimme up the garden for some parsley and felt quite intrepid.

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  13. Greetings from Australia. I enjoy your posts... just beautiful!

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  14. The warm fireplace10:47 pm BST

    Wonderful post takes me right back to my A level english literature class, magical. sue

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  15. I do love Chaucer; studied him at University. Rain, though - rain I can do without.

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