01 April, 2018


It's April, and I am reflecting on my old companion, Geoffrey Chaucer:


I gave you what some call
the best years of my life.
You proffered status, colleagues, jobs, 
and plenty sublimated pleasure; 
and you felt often like 
myn owne brother deere.

I fell in love with your alterity,
words such as aksenqueynte, and briddes,
and lines that spoke about my student friends and me,
That slepen al the nyght with open eye.

You seemed to know a lot of
yonge fresshe folkes, he or she,
asked with Criseyde: kan he wel speke of love?
You seemed to grasp what lovers feel,
how rumor spreads,
and even how to use an astrolabe
compowned for the latytude of Oxenforde.

I liked you less once I had heard
of Cecily Chaumpaigne,
and how you settled out of court.
Played down as ‘incident’
by the rapt fathers of the field,
I thought it rendered you
all too much with us.

Still: I do read and teach you,
though now you feel a good deal less congenial;
more a reminder of the matters
that still need chaunge, but
not alone in forme of speeche.

Ⓒ Richard Utz