Feb. 14th, 2010

felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I'm putting aside my usual hatred of Valentine's Day, and I'm reading A Parliament of Birds by Geoffrey Chaucer, the poem that started it all.

(Except Chaucer meant Saint Valentine of Genoa's Day, which was May 2nd, not the Saint Valentine of indeterminate origin - Rome, Terni, or Tunisia/Libya/Algeria - on February 14. Some think a dim memory of Lupercalia influenced the move.)

Here are some of the lines that made the holiday, from A Parliament of Birds, in 1382:

And in a launde, upon a hille of floures
Was set this noble goddesse, Nature
Of branches were hir halles and hir boures
Ywrought, aftir hir crafte and hir mesure;
Ne ther nas foule the cometh of engendrure
That thei ne were prest in hir presence
To take hir dome and yeve hir audience.

For this was on seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foule cometh there to chese his make,
Of every kynde that man thynke may...
And in a meadow, upon a hill of flowers
Was set this noble goddess Nature
Of branches were her halls and her bowers
Wrought by her craft and measure;
There wasn't a bird born
That didn't hury into her presence
To hear her judgement and give her audience

For this was on Saint Valentine's Day
When every bird came there to choose his mate,
Of every species man might think of...

Nature then plays matchmaker for all the birds, which makes a lot more sense in May than February.

Me, like most of my friends I don't have much to celebrate today, except that chocolate will be cheap tomorrow.


felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

September 2011

11 12 1314151617

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios