If Chaucer were alive and set out on
Another pilgrimage, who would be drawn
To that adventure, and what modern tales
Be told as they traversed the hills and dales?
But now they would be traveling in a bus
Plugged in to iPhones, missing all the fuss
Of chit-chat and of camaraderie,
Each isolated on this odyssey,
And therefore there would be no tales to share,
No passions to arouse, no souls to bare—
Just selfies to dispatch and gossip tweet,
Ignoring the poor soul in the next seat.
Alan Nordstrom teaches English at Rollins College and is an inveterate and unapologetic formalist, with previous publications in Light and Measure.