Geoffrey Chaucer Speaks of Julian of Norwich

Beside the saintly woman of Norwich,
an anchorite without pretense,
a prophet of startling revelations,
my Wife of Bath and Madame Eglantine,
my courteous knight and squire do pale.

Confessor to many, her wisdom shared
beside the river through embroidered scrim—
I wonder: what if I met her before my tales
were spawned, my pen drawn to picture
one so fine among my raucous pilgrims?

Could I invent an anecdote to capture
her spirit and grace? Should one so holy
abandon her cell for Canterbury,
I fear my skill would surely falter.

Stella Nesanovich

Stella Nesanovich is the author of two full-length collections: Vespers at Mount Angel and Colors of the River and four chapbooks of poems. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and magazines and several anthologies and has been featured on American Life in Poetry. She is Professor Emerita of English from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she has lived since 1982.

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