Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday: Introducing Lady Carenza of the Lovely Body

     I have a set of very noisy birds in the trees along Noble Street. I would like to say they are a pleasant wake up call, but they’re not. They are as annoying as they are precious.
     There are the ubiquitous sirens; police, fire ambulance. Friday night about 200 people were dislodged from their apartment on Maple Lodge and all the sirens were in full voice.
     A streetcar rumbles past. The GO trains streak by. Car horns, barking dogs, obnoxious car alarms, wheezing and bellowing car audio systems, slamming doors, the whining of power tools, those birds trilling away in the midst of it all.
     There are the serious conversations that take place under my window that remind me of long ago discussions on the edge of the Tantramar Marsh at Mount Alison University; re:Charles Olson on Projective Verse, The Vietnam War, the War Measures Act, Universal Healthcare, Organic Gardening!
     Often the conversations under my window are scatological, incoherent, anguished, shrill, accompanied by the sound of breaking glass, evidence of lives broken open.
     I know it’s Sunday. I know it is precisely 10:30 AM because I can hear the bells from St. Mark’s Anglican Church over on Cowan Ave. In the midst of all the noise outside my window, once as week, on Sunday at 10:30 AM, the slow rhythmic song of tolling bells.
     It is like the mantra that in repetition silences, however briefly, the chattering monkeys.

     What would Easter Sunday be without a sermon. In that spirit here is THE NUN’S SERMON (written originally in Occitan.)

My lady Carenza of the lovely body,
Please offer your profound advice
And since you know what’s best, tell us precisely
What to do. You know. Your ways embody
All ways of women. Please say: shall I wed
Someone we know? Or stay a virgin? I’ve said
That would be good. But having kids – what for?
To me marriage seems a painful bore.

Lady Carenza, I’d like to have a man,
But what a penance when you have a clan
Of brats. Your tits hang halfway to the ground;
You belly is discomfited and round.

My lady Iselda and my lady Alais,
You have youth, beauty; your skin is a fresh colour.
And you know courtly manners, you have valour
Beyond all other women in your place.

Hear me. And for the best seed from a cod,
Marry the crown of knowledge, who is God.
And you will bear fruit in glorious sons,
Saving your chastity like married nuns.

My lady Iselda and my lady Alais,
Remember me and may my light transcend
All fears. Please ask the King of Glory,
When you enter heaven, to join us once again.

The picture is of a marble sculpture by the sculptor Paul Raphael Montfort

The Nuns Sermon is from the Gnostic Bible / edited by Barnstone / Meyers

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