a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

SPECK ‘N U (29): The Cuckoo Song

Posted on the May 4th, 2013

Speck 'N U 20130504b

* Speck is paraphrasing the first two lines of an anonymous thirteenth century poem, “The Cuckoo Song.” The poem is written in Middle English, so the spellings are odd and the meanings are obscure at times, compared to present day English. (Middle English dictionary here.)

This version of “The Cuckoo Song” is from the textbook “Poems, Poets, Poetry” by Helen Vendler (Harvard University).


The Cuckoo Song

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude* sing, cuccu!    (loud)
Groweth sed and bloweth med*    (meadow)
And springth the wude nu.
Sing, cuccu!

Awe* bleteth after lomb,      (ewe)
Lhouth* after calve cu,*    (loweth/cow)
Bulluc sterteth,* bucke verteth*     (leaps/breaks wind)
Murie sing, cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu.
Wel singes thu, cuccu.
Ne swik* thu never nu!      (stop)


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Remembering a summer day in Bergamo, Italy

Posted on the November 1st, 2010

Here in Italy today, November has announced its arrival with a windy windy, rainy rainy, gray gray day. It’s beautiful in its own gloomy sort of way. But as a remembrance of days not long ago past,  I’m posting a photo taken by a friend, Tarcisio, and sent to me yesterday.

Tarcisio wrote that he took the shot a few months ago on a perfect summer day in his home town of Bergamo, Italy (Lombardy). Titling the photo “Paradise in Bergamo,” he recalled the day:

Imagine, temperature 75 degrees, humidity 65%, sunny, not a cloud in the sky for days, really you start thinking how much better can it get.

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