Thursday, February 11, 2016

Poetry Friday-Love Is In The Air

           Poetry Friday is hosted by Kimberley Moran at her blog, Written Reflections. This time, Kimberley shares her newfound love of hummingbirds and a beautiful book of poems that follow their life cycle. Be sure to visit to take a peek.  I imagine there'll be a more love shared today, two days before Valentine's Day. 


I've had fun this week writing for Laura Shovan's birthday challenge to found objects, and entered Susanna Leonard Hill's Valentiny story contest. Over a hundred have entered. Wow! And it was fun to give it a go. I wrote a poem/story you can read in yesterday's post

I'm sharing a favorite love poem from Chaucer today. Enjoy!  

            How to Write a Love Letter

            Don’t write too neat, and use a little guile—
            Let tear stains blot your words once in a while
            But if you find a word you think is clever,
            Use it but once, don’t harp on it forever!
            For though a harper were the best alive,
            And had the best harp in the world to play,
            And played it best with all his fingers five,
            If he but touched one string or sang one lay,
            However sharp his nails were filed away,
            His music would but make men dull and sad,
            And only when he stopped would they be glad.
                        --Geoffrey Chaucer in ‘Troilus and Cressida’




I "found" this picture on Morguefile. Hope it pleases you as it pleased me. Happy Valentine's Day!


39 comments:

  1. I didn't know about Chaucer's advice on writing love letters - it does appear sound, though. Repetitive words tend to get tiring after awhile, no matter how heartfelt. :) I should re-read The Canterbury Tales at one point. :)

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    1. If we ever have time, I imagine it would be wonderful, Myra. I do love parts of it. Thanks!

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  2. As a player of strings, I appreciate Chaucer's words in a fresh way. Feeling sad this February, I also relate to the twinge of sadness.
    :) Bonnie K.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie, despite the sadness, love poems still please me. I'm glad you enjoyed this for the music.

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  3. I like the tear stains! Happy Valentine's Day, Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Iza, having been written so long ago, still apt for today don't you think?

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  4. I studied Chaucer in grad school but for some reason don't remember this particular poem. Great advice touting the virtues of "less is more." Happy Love Day!

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    1. Thanks, Jama. I didn't remember it, just found it long ago in a book, have used it with students writing love poems.

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  5. Thank you! What a festive look you've added to the PF logo; the tree is very special, too. ...When it comes to Chaucer, I'm showing my ignorance. I never would have thought that he had anything to speak to me of writing love letters. What a great tactic: "Let tear stains blot your words once in a while." Thanks again, your post is a perfect Valentine's weekend kick-off. God bless you! Thank you!

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    1. It's an old favorite poem of mine. Glad it's new to you, and I love that 'tear-stained' advice, too.

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  6. My grandfather was the foremost expert on Geoffrey Chaucer. I have listened to his poetry as long as I can remember. This made me so happy. Thank you!

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    1. How wonderful is that, Kimberley. So glad to know that I connected to you in that way.

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  7. Love both the image and the poem, especially:
    >>Use it but once, don’t harp on it forever!<<
    Thanks for sharing, Linda. Hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day!

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    1. Thanks, Carmela, Happy Valentine's Day to you, too. I'm happy you enjoyed it. I had to share a favorite love poem today!

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  8. (Look at that Cupid-ified PF logo!!) :0)
    Thanks for the serving of Chaucer - still fresh after all these years! - and that delightful tree heart. Wishing you a warm and cozy weekend, feeling the love of your wonderful family (and your online family). XO

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    1. Thanks, Robyn, glad you enjoyed all the love shared, and thanks for the good wishes. Wishing the same to you, and some chocolate, too.

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  9. I always love it when people quote Chaucer! This is when Troilus was being counselled on how to write a letter, and just before this passage, he cautions against writing in "too high a style" - which I think is amusing, but also true!

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    1. Oh, thank you for this "extra" information, Matt. I don't know it very well at all, but do love this poem. Your added words make him come to life even more. Enjoy Valentine's Day with your wee children!

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  10. The pink contrasting heart is so very startling. I found an awesome heart-shaped opening in a tree last summer. Click here to see it.

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    1. Oh that's wonderful, Diane. I look at those kinds of tree parts often, find them fascinating, but have never seen a heart, much less a hole.

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  11. This is a very fitting post to prepare us for the Valentine's Day festivities, Linda. The image on the tree is very touching. I am wondering which heart that is for. Now shall we all write a love letter with the tips provided by Chaucer?

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    1. And wouldn't that be fun to do, Carol? I liked finding that picture too, can only imagine what it might have meant to someone.

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  12. I know of someone (Baba Brinkman) who raps Chaucer, so I can sort of hear this poem as a rap. Advice for the ages! :-)

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    1. Oh, love the thought, can hear the beat now that you've pointed the way! Thanks, Tabatha.

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  13. Well, that's not the Chaucer I know, exactly, but what fun! I came here looking for your Found Objects poems, Linda--so terrific across the board! Your immersion is words is clearly flowing through. I especially liked "Growing Up at Louie's General Store"--a fine tangent to bloodletting.

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    1. I decided to share the poem instead for Valentine's Day, Heidi. Thanks for the compliment. Every February with Laura's challenge has been a delight to see the beautiful responses to the prompts.

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  14. WHAT?? Who knew (not me) that Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a "How To" poem!!

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    1. Fun to see from so long ago, right?

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  15. I took one of those classes in high school, where we dissected Chaucer until I want to throw Canterbury Tales against the wall. I don't think I have touched Chaucer since. I love this poem and the photo you chose to go with it.

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    1. Yes, not easy, & I am no expert, but found this a long time ago & have used it with students, and loved it myself. Thanks, Carol. Have a nice weekend.

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  16. Ah, Chaucer! Thank you for this and the images. Something about the shape of a heart is so pleasing to the eye. Is that a thing that crosses cultures of is it just ours?

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    1. Now you have a question that calls for some research, Julieanne. I believe I've seen some "hearts" in Latino books and blogs, and probably in Europe too. We'll see. Glad you liked the poem.

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  17. I am not a Chaucer expert, but I certainly never thought of him as being cheeky. That's the impression I come away after reading this, anyway. Happy Valentine's Day, Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle, interesting thought about him! Happy Valentine's Day to you, too!

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  18. I love these droll Valentine poems--treating love with a light hand and a lot of wit. The one on Your Daily Poem today was pretty good too. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I'll go read it, Violet, still haven't taken the time to do it. Thanks!

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  19. Happy Valentine's Day, Linda! Thanks for the introduction to the lghter side of Chaucer. =)

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    1. And the same to you, Bridget! Happy you enjoyed it!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!