WHAN that Aprilly with hise shoures soote
    The droghte of March had perced to the roote,
    I druv a motor thro' Aprilly's bliz
    Somme forty mile, and dam neere lyke to friz.

    Bert Leston Taylor(1866–1921)

Did you know that the first lines of this poem parodies the opening lines of the of Chaucer's prologue to Canterbury Tales? It goes something like this:

Here bygynneth the Book of the tales of Caunterbury

    Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
    The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
    And bathed every veyne in swich licour
    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
    Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
    Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
    Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
    And smale foweles maken melodye,
    That slepen al the nyght with open ye

Well you get the idea; it's something unnerving and oblique in his vision of the world, perfectly illustrated making everything light. Bert Leston Taylor was an American humorist newspaperman, and journalist. He's attributed all over the web for the cynical quote:

    A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.
Attributed to The So-Called Human Race(1922). The line may have been the inspiration for Arthur Guiterman’s couplet Of Tact, in A Poet’s Proverbs (1924):
    Don’t tell your friends about your indigestion: ‘How are you!’ is a greeting, not a question.
BLT, as he was affectionately called worked as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune where he authored a column called A Line o' Type or Two filled with pungent paragraphs in verse or prose, adding salt and flavor to the editorial page. He remained as an editor to the column until his death in 1921. Today it has become an important feature of the daily paper. His book So-Called Human Race was published to preserve some of this writer's wit and wisdom from his column.


Bram, Robert Philips, Norma H. Dicky, "Taylor, Bert Leston," Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia , 1988.

The Columbia World of Quotations. 1996.:

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:

CST Approved.

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