John Gower (died 1408) was Poet Laureate to King Richard II (deposed 1399) and to King Henry IV (died 1413) and friends with Geoffrey Chaucer. He is buried in Southwark Cathedral on the banks of the River Thames in London. His head rests on his three best known books: Vox Clamantis in Latin, Speculum Meditantis in French and Confessio Amantis in English.
So, it got me thinking about poetry in all three languages: Latin, French and English and what one might present to the world has perfect examples of each…
From ‘Ecce Gratum’ Carmina Burana
et iam sugit
Ver Aestatis uber.
illi men’s est misera
qui nec visit,
sub Aestatis dextera.’
and now rises
Spring, the breast of summer.
His mind is miserable
Who neither lives
under the right hand of summer.’
Tune in for the next instalment of perfect poetry in French and English…
Here is John Gower with his 3 books as one pillow.