Geoffrey Chaucer wrote some of the bawdiest, most insightful, and most moving poetry in English. More precisely, he wrote his poetry in the developing language we now call "Middle English." In this class, we will encounter Chaucer's most important and most entertaining texts in their original language: we'll take our time with each text (reading only about 800 lines of poetry per class), and we'll spend a great deal of time in class reading and performing the poetry out-loud. Using this method, we'll read Chaucer's great love poem, Troilus and Criseyde, his poignant Book of the Duchess, his elegant Anglo-French courtly lyrics, and, of course, a few highlights from the famous Canterbury Tales. Your grade will be based on your class attendance and enthusiastic participation, two papers, one in-class exam, and a variety of informal presentations, quizzes, and listserv posts. No previous experience with Middle English required. This course fulfills the Distribution 3, Arts & Letters requirement.