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Beverly Feldman for the Spring | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Beverly Feldman for the Spring

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Manolo says, the spring it is icoming! Sing cuccu nu, sing cuccu!

13 Responses to “Beverly Feldman for the Spring”

  1. X March 7, 2006 at 2:27 pm #

    Nice literary reference.

  2. Khazarkhum March 7, 2006 at 2:40 pm #

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

  3. carefulnow March 7, 2006 at 3:01 pm #


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

  4. La BellaDonna March 7, 2006 at 3:53 pm #

    Lhude sing cuccu!

  5. Tammy March 7, 2006 at 7:44 pm #

    These are so cute!

  6. jenny March 7, 2006 at 11:57 pm #

    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 March 7, 2006 at 11:57 pm #

    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 March 8, 2006 at 1:35 pm #

    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 http://www.auburn.edu/~bertocr/Sumer.html) means something a little more gross than “leaps, twisting”? Much academic ink has been spilled over this extremely important linguistic controversy.

  9. jenny March 8, 2006 at 7:56 pm #

    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 March 9, 2006 at 10:00 am #

    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 March 9, 2006 at 4:06 pm #

    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 March 9, 2006 at 11:33 pm #

    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 March 10, 2006 at 2:59 pm #

    Hmm, Jenny, most interesting interpretation!