Friday, April 03, 2009

There's something about April in North Carolina that always makes me think of these opening lines of The Canterbury Tales:

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
The 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.

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages describes me to a tee (or fare thee well). I'm always ready to go, perhaps not on pilgrimages, but to just get in the car and not stop 'til I reach the ocean, or mountains, or desert.

But Chaucer never saw the April-green here in NC in contrast to the dogwood, dark boles and blue sky. We get this shade of green only at this time of year. Each leaf is reaching for the sun as it newly unfolds and displays a green that is new and fresh; it's a green that seems saved only for this moment. I'll try for a picture; my words cannot do it.

BRB is Write(and needs a fully annotated version of Chaucer)


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