Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The winter issue of The New Quarterly has just come out. I have a piece in it called Chaucer By Heart. It is a tribute to Marvin Mudrick, my literature professor at the College of Creative Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara. It is also about the value of knowing poetry by heart, in this case, the Miller's Tale from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. At one point in my life, I memorized the whole thing, all 600 lines of rhyming Middle English couplets. This is probably the most useful thing I've ever done. Having that much Chaucer in my head has proven to be an excellent companion on the road, good counsel at troubling moments, and a great way to get through my laps in the swimming pool. Check out www.tnq.ca to find out more about this fine Canadian literary journal.