Seeing Geoffrey Chaucer's tiny tomb in the Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey in London was a striking lesson in our mortality. The first major English writer's remains lie in a box among other writers' final resting places.
Each year, I read Chaucer's General Prologue to "The Canterbury Tales," loving the Middle English language and his images. As Dante did with Italian, Britain's first major writer established English as a literary language over Latin. A little more than 600 years after writing the long poem, Chaucer captures the way humans greet April and the arrival of spring.