Beverly Feldman for the Spring

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Topaz by Beverly Feldman    Manolo Likes!  Click!
Manolo says, the spring it is icoming! Sing cuccu nu, sing cuccu!


13 Responses to “Beverly Feldman for the Spring”

  1. X Says:

    Nice literary reference.

  2. Khazarkhum Says:

    But the Manolo, sad to say, he is wrong. It is the summer which is a comen in, loudly sing cucuu.

  3. carefulnow Says:

    Sumer is spring. Manolo, why youl like making us go running around checking what is, eh?

  4. La BellaDonna Says:

    Lhude sing cuccu!

  5. Tammy Says:

    These are so cute!

  6. jenny Says:

    I’ve got my homespun and sandals on and am ready to do a May-dance! But I’d liefer play Green Gravel…

  7. jenny Says:

    I’ve got my homespun and sandals on and am ready to do a May-dance! But I’d liefer play Green Gravel…

  8. The Charlotte Allen Says:

    I love this! My very own field of medieval English poetry! But are you aware, Carefulnow, that some scholars think that “ferteth” (in your link means something a little more gross than “leaps, twisting”? Much academic ink has been spilled over this extremely important linguistic controversy.

  9. jenny Says:

    CharlotteAllen, I must admit that when my sister and I were taking our medieval English poetry classes in college, we had many a giggle over the word “ferteth.” As a matter of fact, I let out a big snort when I read it in your post!…

  10. La BellaDonna Says:

    Um, La BellaDonna, she translates what the bullock is doing as “starting,” which can also mean the “leaping,” but the buck, it is, um, rhyming with the bullock, and La BellaDonna, she does not mean that the buck is feaping, fwisting, either.

    La BellaDonna, she is glad she is not passing the buck anywhere it is icumen in.

  11. The Charlotte Allen Says:

    La BellaDonna:

    Yes, the bullock is definitely leaping, but what is the buck doing? If the two female animals (the ewe and the cow) are doing parallel things–calling after their little ones–why, of the two male animals, is the bullock leaping while the buck emits a Bronx cheer?

    Here’s one solution: In the 13th-century manuscript where the poem appears, the word “ferteth” is actually spelled “uerteth.” That’s because back then, scribes often wrote the letter “v” as a “u.” So “uerteth” is actually “verteth.” And people often pronounced “v” like “f” (just as Germans do today in the word “Vater”), especially when a word began with a “v.” In fact, initial “v” and initial “f” were often interchangeable–and that’s why the word “ferteth” appears on the web page.

    So some scholars have theorized that the author of the poem, looking around for a parallel activity to “sterteth” that also happened to rhyme with it, borrowed the Old French verb “vertir,” meaning “to turn” (a cognate of modern French “vertement,” meaning “vigorously”), and made up “verteth”–which could be translated as “leaps, twising”? This was only a century or so after the Norman Conquest, when most of England’s literate class knew French, so it’s a highly plausible theory.

    So–did the author mean “verteth” or “ferteth”? The mystery remains unsolved.

  12. jenny Says:

    Well my husband’s from Idaho, and he calls a good toot “Bucksnort.” So on that authoritative note, I’m gonna vote for the “ferteth” interpretation. Who knows: the little hidden towns his ancestors come from are so isolated, there may very well be more of the medieval English left there than you’d think. Actually, that would explain a few odd phrases I’ve picked up since marrying into the family…

  13. The Charlotte Allen Says:

    Hmm, Jenny, most interesting interpretation!

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