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Poem written in the style of Chaucer

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:03 pm
by Saturn
Well sort of...

Been reading a bit of Chaucer in the original today so I decided to turn my hand to a bit of archaic poesie.

Like Keats' Eve Of St. Mark the words used are only approximations of medieval English, not wholly accurate by any means.

The inconsistencies in spelling and form are intentional.

Just a wee experiment, but I like it.

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Poem written in the style of Chaucer

Whan that Ay thinke of thine eyne
And dotte vpon thy rvbie lipes,
Whan that Ay marvelle vpon thy haire
That glovvest fine as moltenne golde
Mine hearte does burne so feerce
To dalle and lolle vpon eache one
Untille my hotte desir be whette
Ever woulde be Ay in Cvpides debt.

Whan that Ay feele thy breaste,
And compasse thine softe armes,
Ay so longe to 'brace thee stille
That 'twixt vs never comme a parte.
Whan that Ay heare thy dvlcette tongve
Tinckle cleare on mine own eares
Aye wishe t'corke all mankinde's paire
That none may ever sqvvake in compare.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:09 am
by Credo Buffa
Impressive work, Saturn!

I remember having to write a pilgrim sketch a la Canterbury Tales for my Chaucer class. That was good for literally hours spent in the library with the Middle English Dictionary. One tough assignment, that was.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:32 am
by Saturn
It's fascinating stuff though as well reading middle English - seeing the familiar and the wholly unfamiliar in the same line, the different spellings [even for the same word in many cases].

The satisfaction you get when you begin to read it more fluently is wonderful. It's like learning a new language, yet one so closely related to your own that you feel a sense of how people spoke in those times, [which is only one of the great assets of Chaucer's work] what their lives may have been like.

It's like you become a private archaeologist of language.

My copy of Canterbury Tales is great as it has the original with difficult words and phrases glossed in the margin, all on the same page.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:41 pm
by Malia
I remember reading Chaucer in college--at Durham Univeristy, as a matter of fact (great place to read middle English lit. what with the cathedral, castle, and all ;) ). Anyway, I hear you, Saturn. It is tough at first, but when you get used to the way Chaucer "speaks" it is like opening onto new and exciting seas.

I don't know if you've gone to college, Saturn, but you seem *amazingly* well-versed in the classics. Maybe you can have a career in that area somehow, as you seem not only knowledgeable but also quite talented in that area. :)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:23 pm
by Saturn
It's amazing what you can do if you have a few years of going mad and nothing to do but read.

I'm no great intellect, just persistent and obsessive.

And that's not false modesty. I believe anyone can learn all that I have if they had enough time and were mad enough to read the amount of books I have done.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:41 am
by Credo Buffa
Saturn wrote:The satisfaction you get when you begin to read it more fluently is wonderful. It's like learning a new language, yet one so closely related to your own that you feel a sense of how people spoke in those times, [which is only one of the great assets of Chaucer's work] what their lives may have been like.

It's like you become a private archaeologist of language.

That was actually one of my favorite things about my English major. It really is exciting getting to almost "learn a new language" as you say, Saturn, but know at the same time that it still is your own language, just at a different time. I was very lucky to have a professor who is an expert in the realm of Middle English dialect, so not only did I learn to read (and even more significantly speak) original Middle English texts, but also did a project on the transitional dialect between Middle and Modern English of the 15th century (I feel like I've talked about that somewhere here before, but anyway. . .). You learn so much about your own language when you look at its history like that: where its linguistic influences lie, how its poetic forms developed, why its goofy little tics are there (all these silent e's and kn's and multiple sounds for single vowels and stuff like that). :wink:

Plus it makes you look really smart when you can recite stuff in older dialects. :P

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:21 am
by Saturn
Credo Buffa wrote:
Plus it makes you look really smart when you can recite stuff in older dialects. :P


:lol:

You have one up on me there.

I've heard passages read on TV programmes and movies and stuff like that but I can't claim to be able to actually speak middle English.

There's a wonderful scene in the movie Sylvia about Sylvia Plath where Gwyneth Patlrow recites from The Canterbury Tales to an audience of cows from a boat on the Thames :lol: