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….
My students are memorizing this. These and the other fourteen opening lines of the General Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
A few of them (small handful) actually like this assignment. I’m guessing that Most of them Don’t. And a very vocal and very small few have made it Abundantly Clear that they Don’t Approve At All.
I didn’t have to memorize it in school. Heck, I didn’t even read it in school– and I was in honors English all the way through my senior year. And I was at a Very Good public high school.
I have no explanation. I have no excuse.
But I am enjoying it now. Absolutely and For Certain. How often does one get to speak in Middle English? How often (outside of speaking Spanish) does one get to trill one’s r’s with such abandon? How often does one get to say less than one sentence and within it Appropriately Use both French and German pronunciation?
Don’t tell my students, but I Am Loving This.