Jacket 31 — October 2006        link Jacket 31 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

Caroline Bergvall

The Summer Tale (Deus Hic, 1)

You can hear Caroline Bergvall reading four of her ‘Chaucer tales’ at PennSound, at http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Bergvall.html:

1. Party on: The Host’s Tale. 5’06”.(MP4 audio)
2. Banned in Poland: The Summer Tale (deus hic, 1). 2’52” (MP4 audio)
3. The Pope addresses women: The Franker Tale (deus hic, 2). 5’41” (MP4 audio)
4. Love song: The Not Tale (funeral) 1’32” (MP4 audio)

Rome is the hem home of ice cream
and for generations, burgeys and pilgrims ylyk,
this glade folk, in joye and blisse at mete,
have forsaken dessert at the Inn
for the simple plesance
of sitting outside with a takeaway cone.
The last Papa Pope Johannes Paulus Tweye,
a preest holy and gay,
used to have tubs of his favourite flavour, marron glacé,
delivered to his summer residence.
Thanked be God, in wele and habundaunce!


But if his successor, Pope Benedict XVI,
wants to see how Polish ice cream compares
during a viage trip there this wyke week,
Get us som mete and drynke, and make us cheere!
he is likely to be apayed a bit disappointed.
‘For many a pastee hastow,
cakes and ice cream can easily go off
in summer temperatures and can pose
a danger to health, that hath been twies hoot
and twies coold’,
a spokeswyf woman for local health bailiffs
quod to Agence France Press.
‘That’s why we’re banning takeaway sales
on the day many pilgrims pilgrims
will be arriving in Wadowice’.


And that isn’t all that has made it
onto the liste of voided banned items.
Areas that the Pope will visiter,
including the citees of Warsaw and Krakow,
will be dry, with a ban on all licour sales while the Papa is in toun:
For goddes love, drynk moore attemprely!
Polish Mennes of Lawe seyen the ban is in place
to maintain public order and as a mark of respect for the pontiff.
No drynke which that myghte hem dronke make,
but there in abstinence preye and wake.


Papa Benedict XVI himself
will be offered both red and white wyn.
‘Deus hic!’ quod he, God is here,
as he attends houses of office stuffed with plentee,
a series of solempne gala sopers,
according to local media voys reports.
Television advertisements for licour
have eek also been banned.
Along with those for contraceptives, lingerie and tampons.
Chaast was man in paradys, certeyn.
‘There is alwayes the risk that the faithful may feel hurt
how many maladyes,
folwen of excesse and of goltonyes!
if programming devoted to the Pope’s visit
wedded to poverte and continence,
to charite, humblesse, and abstinence,
is interrupted by frivolous ads.
The body is ay so redy and penyble’,
the heed of advertising for Telewizja Polska,
the state-run TV network,
told the Associated Press news agency.
BBC NEWS 25 May 2006.
Here is endeth the Summer Tale.