Fierce warres and faithfull loves

February 19, 2008

As mentioned aforetime, I’m taking another stab at The Faerie Queene. This will be third attempt but I really, really think I’ll be able to get through it this time. For one, I’ve found a bit of a groove regarding the meter, so it’s going a little bit faster. It’s probably not for nothing that Lewis firmly supports Spenser’s reputation as the inheritor of Chaucer. This is the introduction to Book 1, Canto 2 with spellings modernized somewhat by me:

By this the Northern wagoner had set
His sevenfold team behind the steadfast star,
That was in Ocean waves yet never wet,
But firm is fixt, and sendeth light from far
To all, that in the wide deep wandring are:
And cheerful Chaunticlere with his note shrill
Had warned once, that Phoebus fiery car
In haste was climbing up the Eastern hill,
Full envious that night so long his room did fill.

It’s a long way around the imaginary mountain just to say “The next morning…” but can’t you just see the constellations arcing and setting as the sky begins to lighten up in the east? “Fierce warres and faithfull loves” are the subjects Spenser intends to treat, as he introduces his epic. There is a also a book by the same name that provides annotations and footnotes for Book 1. It came highly recommended a long time ago to me, and we’ll probably pick it up when it comes time for the kids to take up and read.

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4 Responses to “Fierce warres and faithfull loves”

  1. PeregrinJoe Says:

    Last night my wife made one of the soups from the book you told me about: 12 Months of Monastery Soups. It was called Potage de Navets (Turnip Soup). It was FANTASTIC! I have asked my wife to include it in our regular rotation of meals. Thanks again for the tip on that book. I am looking forward to many more delicious soups to come.

  2. fosco Says:

    Glad you liked it. The monks certainly know their soups. Soup + homemade bread + a pile of cheese is a pretty common meal for us on Friday nights.

  3. PeregrinJoe Says:

    Yes, we did the cheese part, (is there such a thing as a good meal without cheese?) but we sprinkled some butter and garlic croutons on top of the soup, which was a very nice touch, and had a salad on the side. I was amazed at how satisfying a simple meal like that was.

  4. Chris Says:

    I stumbled across this post/blog when I was googling something. Just wanted to wish you good luck with Spenser. I love him!

    On the Chaucer, there is this awesome moment where Spenser actually references Chaucer directly. Book 4, Canto 2, Stanza 32.


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