Poetry Breakfast #2 – The Wife of Bath’s Tale

Coffee - The Wife of Bath's Tale

I will devote the effort of all my waking
To all the grinds and roasts of brewing.
Tell me also, to what purpose or end
The coffee bean was made, that I defend,
And for what benefit was roasting first wrought?
Trust you right well, it was not made for naught.
Explain who will and argue up and down
That they were made for passing out, as known,
of urine, and our two grindings small
Were just to tell a venti from a tall,
And for no other cause – ah, say you no?
Experience knows well it is not so;
And, so baristas be not with me wroth,
I say now that they have been made for both,
That is to say, for espresso and for ease
of brewing at home, when we do not God displease.

based on Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, The Wife of Bath’s prologue, 113-128 (Modern English)
http://www.canterburytales.org/canterbury_tales.html

Original text:

I will devote the flower of all my age
To all the acts and harvests of marriage.
Tell me also, to what purpose or end
The genitals were made, that I defend,
And for what benefit was man first wrought?
Trust you right well, they were not made for naught.
Explain who will and argue up and down
That they were made for passing out, as known,
Of urine, and our two belongings small
Were just to tell a female from a male,
And for no other cause- ah, say you no?
Experience knows well it is not so;
And, so the clerics be not with me wroth,
I say now that they have been made for both,
That is to say, for duty and for ease
In getting, when we do not God displease.

This came about from a challenge on Twitter from PJ Stoops (@inourwaters), who is singlehandedly creating a market for bycatch fish – the extra/unwanted fish caught during commercial fishing operations – and who is an all around great guy in Houston’s food scene.