April, Black is Not a Color, Canterbury Tales, chaucer, Greenwich, Greenwich Moms, Party with Moms, PIFS, Putnam Indian Field School, U.N., UN, United Nations
Party with Moms interviews Rozsa Gaston today as their Mom of the Week. Read here and if you enjoy, sign up for the Party with Moms weekly newsletter. http://partywithmoms.com/party-with-moms-interviews-rozsa-gaston-prolific-author/
Once, just a few Aprils ago, I was a freshman in college and forced to memorize the first twelve lines of the prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Imagine my delight when I realized that Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales were terribly tickly, not to mention positively ribald in parts! Not some old, moldy, medieval stanzas, but colorful, naughty and well worth the effort to make out the Olde English words.
Here’s first twelve lines of the most sensational poem written about April I’ve ever come across. Enjoy!
WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the fleur;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
Excerpt from Black is Not a Color
“Did you sleep?” Narcisa whispered to me as the owner of the male voice headed toward the nearest silver-tray-carrying waiter to capture two glasses of white wine for us.
“Did I what?”
“Did you sleep?” she asked again.
“Yes. I slept well, thank you” I answered confusedly. Did I look tired to her?
“You don’t have to tell me who it was. But tell me—who was it?”
“Uh—it was me. I mean I slept well. Didn’t you?”
“Ohhh no. I didn’t sleep. I had friends who helped me,” Narcisa whispered back, one eyebrow lifted significantly.
“Ohhh, I see. Uh—no I didn’t sleep. I—uh- took the tests last spring and they called me the beginning of August.” Startled by the conversational curveball, I stepped back from Narcisa, still intrigued but alerted that I had no idea who I was dealing with. The U.N. was on international territory. American rules no longer applied.
“The tests. Everyone takes the tests. So what? How did you get the job?” she pressed.
“Like I said, I took the tests. That was it. I waited, I gave up hope, then they called.” I shrugged in what I hoped was the classic Gallic way, perfected by my recent stay in Paris.
Narcisa studied me as I spoke. It was like taking a lie-detector test. Suddenly I felt as if I’d slept even when I hadn’t.
“So you just took the tests and they called you. That was it?”
“Yes,” I said, crisply. I tried to look like I wasn’t lying, even when I wasn’t. It was confusing talking to Narcisa.
Black is Not a Color © 2014 by Rozsa Gaston