In Southwerk at the Tabard…

Well, I wasn’t exactly at the Tabard cos it no longer exists. It’s now a Copyprint business centre but it has a people’s plaque outside to pay homage to Chaucer. I walked in, stood in the queue of one for about 30 seceonds then walked out again. Another Chaucer nutter they must have thought as I scuttled back onto Borough High Street. That was a couple of weeks ago. I had a gig at John Harvard Library, 211 Borough High street (great gig by the way, Sandra Agard was MCing. We could have gone on all night with the Q&A). A brilliant coincidence because it’s a five minute walk from the site of the Tabard Inn. No-one knew I was working on The Canterbury Tales. I’ve been meaning for months to go for a drink somewhere close to the original site and ended up sitting at The George Inn, a stunning 16th century¬†galleried inn just off Borough High Street. There I rehearsed the Manciple’s and Parson’s Tale for the imminent gig and generally soaked up the atmosphere. I’m already thinking about the book launch (which I nice because it means I believe it’s actually going to happen. Visualise the launch and move gradually towards it). Graham Henderson of Poet in the City said he’d get me Southwark Cathedral which is a stunning venue but quite formal. I’d be able to perform The Knight’s Tale (when it’s rewritten), even the Parson’s. But certainly not the Millers. Other poets could do it but I believe I’d be struck down if I blasphemed in church, let alone a cathedral. Anyway, I thought a more appropriate venue would be a southwark pub. And The George has function rooms. Unfortunately they were busy at that time but you won’t need to twist my arm to get me back there to check them out. It was a special day. I felt like a real writer connecting so directly with a dead one. Yes, I’ve called myself a poet for twenty years but I’ve never so absolutely followed in the footsteps of a past master. It makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, like the Friar’s Tale…


One thought on “In Southwerk at the Tabard…

  1. Hi Patience,
    Very much enjoying your blog. I’m a third year student specialising in Chaucer for my chosen author, and particularly interested in how music interacts with performance in Chaucer. While I’m looking particularly at medieval music theory, its great to be able to compare it with what’s going on now with Chaucerian performance.

    I’m sure you know about Baba Brinkman – the “Lithop” rapper who raps the Canterbury Tales- but just in case:

    Keep up the good work!
    best wishes, S

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