Chaucer Provides Excellent Love Advice

When I listen to National Public Radio (NPR), I feel smart. They’ve got some of the most informed, intelligent, and witty people working there. During Christmas, NPR shared some excellent advice from Geoffrey Chaucer, renowned poet and author of The Canterbury Tales. The advice piece, ‘Gentlefolk All, Survive Your Holidays With Help From Chaucer,’ was a hit… because it’s so hilarious. It also reads like actual advice from Chaucer.

Yes, he has been deceased since the 1400’s…the advice actually came from Chaucer Doth Tweet. The way Chaucer Doth Tweet works is that someone will tweet a questions at @LeVostreGC, and Chaucer Doth Tweet responds! NPR then composes the answers into a full advice column from Chaucer.

To honor both Chaucer and Valentine’s day (and Middle English), NPR is sharing some truly romantic advice from Chaucer, ‘Can Amor Truly Vincit Omnia? Chaucer Doth Advise.’ As a person in need of amorous advice, I find Chaucer’s wisdom quite useful. Some highlights from the column: 

About Valentine’s Day: “Aye, that one special daye dedicatid to loves joyes and tribulaciouns and awkward first sweatye hand-holdinges at poorly-chosen filmes.” 

“Ich am Geoffrey Chaucer, and my litel poeme the Parliament of Foweles was the first to combyne the peanut buttir of Februarye the XIVth wyth the milk chocolate of wooing.” 

Answering an inquiry about best book to gift a lover: “What to do? First, avoyde the obvious: For thy lover, nevir buye enythinge called “THE LOVE POEMS OF…” That ys lyke wearinge the bandes t-shirt to the concert of the bande.”

Margaret Atwood, yes, the author, tweeted a question:


To which Chaucer responded: “The answere to yower question is: yis! For amor vincit omnia doth signifye “Love Doth Conquer All Thinges.” And so yt doth. Yet love hath a special maner of conqueringe, for yt doth not conquer as a catapult doth conquer, wyth force and large projectiles and muchel crashing and breaking of walles and devastacioun. That maner of conqueringe is for seasonal allergies, not love.” 

While I am not quite sure what Atwood was asking, or what Chauncer’s answer means, I still love it. And will utilize said advice. 

For Chaucer’s full advice, we highly suggest reading the entire piece. Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!

Featured image courtesy of Popmatters.