Friday, April 01, 2016

Happy #WhanThatAprilleDay16 !

Right up there with literary holidays such as Bloomsday and PynchonInPublic day that have been celebrated here at in the past, this year we discovered that the grandparent of all English-language literary celebrations takes place on April 1st. WhanThatAprilleDay is a "tyme to take joye yn alle langages that are yclept ‘old,’ or ‘middel,’ or ‘auncient,’ or ‘archaic,’ or, alas, even ‘dead.’"

I'm not ready for a confident reading of The Canterbury Tales out loud in 2016, but I'm studying for 2017.

All together now:
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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