u003cspan class=u0022has-inline-color has-theme-palette-1-coloru0022u003eu003cstrongu003e1.u003c/strongu003e u003c/spanu003eu0022u003cemu003eWhan that April with his showers sooteu003c/emu003eu003cbru003eThe droghte of March that perced to the rooteu003cbru003eAnd bathed every veine in swich licouru003cbru003eOf which vertu engendered is the flowu0022
― Geoffrey Chaucer, Prologue to u003cemu003eThe Canterbury Talesu003c/emu003e

These lines form the opening four lines of Chaucer’s “Prologue to The Canterbury Tales.” There is excitement in the air as this band of pilgrims travels toward the religious shrine at Canterbury, where they all hope to gain God’s grace. Their trip begins in April, and the very first lines of the poem emphasize the significance of that time of year. “Whan that April with his showers soote / The droghte of March that perced to the roote.” In other words, the poem begins by evoking the process of rainwater reaching dormant roots, revitalizing them. It is the period of revitalization that happens over and over in the earth’s cycle each spring. It is a time of renewal, of life, of the glories of nature shaking off the mundane. It is a time of beginnings and a time of hope.

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