Sonnet to Prof. Pearsall (1991)
Alexander "Sasha" Volokh

(on handing in my paper on the Canterbury Tales
to my Chaucer professor at UCLA, Derek Pearsall)

Professor Pearsall, here is, for your class,
My paper on The Canterbury Tales.
It was produced with tears, and sighs, and wails;
I hope 'twill bring you mirthe and eek solaas. (1)

Ah, often did I stay awake past one,
Writing of Chaucer and his noble feats,
And now, I give to you these thirteen sheets
And seven footnotes (beautifully done).

Yes, here is of my labor, now, the fruit.
But look not at my essay with a frown.
If, for mistakes, I find you've marked me down,
Then truly will I shrivel to a newt.

Instead, bring to my dreary life a ray,
And mark my paper with the letter A.

(1) mirthe and eek solaas: "mirth and also solace" in Middle English.

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