Seuss Chaucer’d (Listen!)

January 1st, 2008

A long time without much Chaucerin’. Blame is shared, no doubt, by the time-crunch of the semester and the mental wipe-out that followed the completion of The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament.

Grene Eyren and HammeA few spare minutes at this turn of the year, however, have put me in the mood for dusting off my free Dell microphone. Perhaps it’s the spiked eggnog, or maybe it’s the glazed-eyed hangover of holiday travels, but what I’ve decided to read for y’all is a terrific little book I’ve been absorbed in of late, a true classic that a fellow could read (at the incessant prompting of an 18-month old) over and over and over again until he just starts reading it in odd voices so as not to go completely bug-!@#$ crazy. I present to you, therefore,

The Leche Seuss, Grene Eyren and Hamme:

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As ever, the tapestry-esque cover art is courtesy of the amazingly talented Mary Robinette Kowal.

Unlike previous renditions of my Chaucerin’, I’m not quoting the original text here since, well, any decent human being should have it memorized already. Plus, I didn’t change much as I read it other than doing a quick substitution for “train.”

Oh, I should also note that I’m well aware of my wandering pronunciation on this one. Trying to do voices in Middle English — and fighting the urge not to laugh about it — completely destroyed any semblance of control that I had on some of the proper sounds. “Ich,” for instance, which is the form of the first person pronoun I used for the Sam-I-Am-Not character, ought not to be pronounced the same way it’s spelled in Modern English. Oh well. ‘Tis all for fun anyway.

Still, extra credit goes to those who can note other errors.

Happy New Year.

10 Replies

  1. #1 by Mary Robinette Kowal - January 1st, 2008 at 14:48

    Ah, it is to laugh.

  2. #2 by Michael Livingston - January 1st, 2008 at 19:34

    It is indeed.

  3. #3 by Kate - January 2nd, 2008 at 03:01

    Fantastic job sir!

    Now we wait with bated breath for “Horton Hears a Who” the Chaucer’d version! *hint hint*

  4. #4 by Lawrence M. Schoen - January 2nd, 2008 at 07:49


    I love you, man!

  5. #5 by Kim B - January 2nd, 2008 at 14:29

    very enjoyable. laughing much. especially with a moose. have a fabulous new year.

  6. #6 by Michael Livingston - January 2nd, 2008 at 14:36

    Thanks, all!

    Kate — Ah, Horton is a classic for sure. I don’t reckon I’ll do much more Chaucerin’, though. Unless, well, perhaps a bit of Finnegan’s Wake?

  7. #7 by Spencer Ellsworth - February 11th, 2010 at 23:43

    We sat around the dinner table and listened to this tonight. Much laughter was had. Afterward we told bawdy stories about pilgrims.

  8. #8 by Michael Livingston - February 13th, 2010 at 10:14

    Awesome! Especially about the bawdy pilgrims.

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