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Tag: Geoffrey Chaucer

“If gold rusts, what then can iron do?”

Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Geoffrey Chaucer’s philosophical question from The Canterbury Tales was posed during the early morning rain in Glenaree, above Glenbrohane, County Limerick, Ireland.

Gate


And after winter folweth grene May

Sunday, 1 May, 2016 0 Comments

The poem Troilus and Criseyde shows Geoffrey Chaucer at the top of his game and he displays great elegance in the challenging Rhyme royal measure. The tale was old when Chaucer took it over in the 14th century from Boccaccio’s Il Filostrato, making some changes to the characters and lengthening the yarn. Boccaccio had borrowed it from an earlier Italian, Guido delle Colonne, who got his version from the French Roman de Troie by Benoit de Ste-Maure, who pretended that he got it from the Romans Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretensis. Two centuries after Chaucer died, Shakespeare retold the story in Troilus and Cressida. For the day that’s in it (May Day), here’s Chaucer:

“But now help God to quenchen al this sorwe,
So hope I that he shal, for he best may;
For I have seyn, of a ful misty morwe
Folwen ful ofte a mery someres day;
And after winter folweth grene May.
Men seen alday, and reden eek in stories,
That after sharpe shoures been victories.”

May


Seldom is Friday all the weeke like

Friday, 20 January, 2012

Friday is not like any other day, said Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales. In “The Knight’s Tale” section, which deals with the ups and downs of a threesome involving Palamon, Arcite and Emily, the narrator compares the lovesick moodiness of the protagonists to the changeability of the weather on a Friday, a day famous for its meteorological tantrums:

“Now up, now down, as bucket in a well
Right as the Friday, soothly for to tell
Now shineth it, and now it raineth fast
Right so can geary Venus overcast
The heartes of her folk, right as her day
Is gearful, right so changeth she array
Seldom is Friday all the weeke like.”

And it’s true. Outside the window, it raineth fast.