Canterbury Tales

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Ken Anderson, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I joked in another thread that I didn't know any poems. While it is true that I have never understood or particularly enjoyed poetry, there have been exceptions.

    In one of my classes in high school, probably English Literature, we had to memorize a portion of the prologue to Canterbury Tales, in Middle English, and I can still recite about half of it.

    We also had to be able to recite it, in Old English, write it out in Old English, and write the translation in modern English.

    I do that to annoy my wife sometimes but have otherwise found no useful purpose for it. Yet, I can recite it in Middle English that is probably pretty faulty after fifty years and may have been wrong at the time.

    Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
    The droghte of march 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
    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,
    That slepen al the nyght with open ye
    (so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
    Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
    And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
    To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
    And specially from every shires ende
    Of engelond to caunterbury they wende,
    The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
    That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Well along those lines here is a favorite scene of mine from Big Bang Theory:)



     
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  3. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I can actually understand most of that. Am I genius or what? :D I sure am glad those Englishters learned to speak English. :D
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Yeah, now if we could only get them to calm down with the vowels.
     
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  6. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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  7. Ken Anderson

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    I don't remember for sure, but I think others in the class were assigned to memorize different parts of Canterbury Tales, and I was just fortunate enough to be assigned to start it out. Yeah, pick the kid who stutters and make him start it off.
     
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  8. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson , I wouldn't worry too much. With that, I'm pretty sure nobody could tell if you were stuttering. ;):D
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    When April with his showers sweet with fruit
    The drought of March has pierced unto the root
    And bathed each vein with liquor that has power
    To generate therein and sire the flower;
    When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath,
    Quickened again, in every holt and heath,
    The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun
    Into the Ram one half, his course has run,
    And many little birds make melody
    That sleep through all the night with open eye
    (So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)-
    Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage,
    And palmers to go seeking out strange strands,
    To distant shrines well known in sundry lands.
    And especially from every shire's end
    Of England, they to Canterbury wend,
    The holy blessed martyr there to seek
    Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak.
     
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  10. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Canterbury Tales are written in Middle English; Beowulf is in Old English. There is quite a difference.
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I said Middle English.

    Oh, I see. I did say Old English, but that was after I had correctly said Middle English. I wasn't thinking, I guess.

     
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018

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