In this collection of the very best of his poems, Chaucer showcases his lyrical skills to perfection. Verging from tragic to comic, the overriding theme of the poetry is love, in its many guises. Chaucer tells of his passion for reading, which allows him to eavesdrop on a 'parliament of birds' on St Valentine's Day; he tells how he, as an inveterate reader, forsakes his books on the 1st May, to wander into the fields; he complains of being short of money; and he complains to his scribe for copying his verses badly (a reminder that we are in the fourteenth century). All in all, in the course of the poetry he reveals a lot about himself, and does so throughout in an engaging and civilised manner.
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 - 1400) is best known for his celebrated work, The Canterbury Tales.