The Oddest Memories

This morning I was on my computer browsing and came across a small bit about someone remembering something he had learned in college by Thomas Hardy. He mentioned that though it had been many years, he could still quote the passage. This got me to thinking about how our memories are quite amazing.

When I was in high school I had an English teacher who, at the time, I disliked for making us memorize the first few lines of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I can still, after 55 years,

still recite them and understand the Middle English:

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
the droghe of Marche hath perced to the roote.
And bath every veyne in swich licour
of which ventu engendred is the flour.

This morning I decided to read the entire prologue’s 200 lines. What amazed me was although much of the English spelling has changed over the centuries, the sounds are still similar enough that I could read and understand much of these oddly written words  and in doing so could appreciate what an amazing poet Chaucer was. His description of some of the characters that would be featured in his Tales are so lively. He painted pictures with his words which enabled me to SEE his traveling companions in my mind.

I remember some time ago the movie “The Knight’s Tale” came out. I loved it. My favorite character was Geoffrey Chaucer, the “knight’s announcer” prior to jousting battle. I think now I will have to read “The Knight’s Tale” by the poet himself.

I guess I owe all of this to Mrs. Hall. Thank you so much for engendering the passion to continue learning.

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3 thoughts on “The Oddest Memories

  1. Yes but I fear that the art of words (and appreciation thereof) is disappearing. It’s sad how many homes I’ve been in with no bookshelves. Here’s to celebrating the good teachers that have so positively influenced our life direction.

  2. Thank you for your comment Mary. I so agree. Our beautiful English language is being reduced to “text-speak” and before long will be integrated to the point of no return. And, I have to admit I have used OMG more than once. I still enjoy turning the pages of a good book.

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