10 June 2016

poetry friday: on the radio + words to adam.

Thys ys how yt doth werke
Thou art yonge til thou art nat
Thou lovest til thou do nat
Thou triest til thou kanst nat

Thou laughest til thou crye
Thou cryest til thou laughe
And everichon moot breathen
Until hire dyinge breathe

Nay, thys ys how yt werketh
Thou peerst ynside thyself
Thou takst the thinges that thee liken
And tryest to like the thinges ytaak

And thanne takest the love thou hast ymaad
And place yt ynto sum
Sum oon elses herte
Pumpinge sum oon elses bloode

And stridinge arm yn arme
Thou prayst yt take no harme
Yet even yf yt doth
Thou shalt but do yt al agayne

And on the radyo
Thou herest 'Novembir Rayne'
The solo ys prettye longe
But lo: the swete refrayne

Ye listen to yt twyce
For the DJ ys asleepe

Thys hath been Geoffrey Chauceres adaptacioun of 'On the Radyo' by Regine de Spektor
— @LeVostreGC (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Well, someone needed to put it all in one place. It's too good not to share, so this is me preserving the tradition. I've come to the conclusion that there's two ways to achieve immortality in poetry if you're not a great poet yourself: you can get them to fall madly in love with you and pine for years, or you can annoy them so much that they write a bit of immortal verse about how annoying you are. We can't all be Beatrice di Folco Portinari; some of us are Adam Pinkhurst. Or, to put it a very slightly nother way, some of us are muses and some of us are copyists. I have no illusions about my prospects.
Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle
Boece or Troylus for to wryten newe,
Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle,
But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe;
So ofte adaye I mot thy werk renewe,
It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape,
And al is thorugh thy negligence and rape.
(And once more with footnotes.)

In any case I love @LeVostreGC more than most things, and it never ceases to delight me that the musical tastes of the account align so well with my own. (Figure 2.) This is almost certainly my favorite Spektor song. Everichon moot breathen until hire dyinge breathe!

Roundup? Roundup.


  1. So glad to see that Chaucer is still hard at work! Enjoyed this blog post! Keep it up!

  2. What a fun post. Thanks for sharing. Ending with a fun song was a good idea!