Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

This week’s terrible literary food pun

January 6, 2018

It starts with the piece by Calvin Baker on the life of poet Derek Walcott in the recent NYT Magazine “The Lives They Lived” issue (12/28 on-line, 12/31 in print), with this photo of the Nobel laureate:


(#1) Walcott in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, in 1993; photo credit: David Hurn/Magnum Photos

The village of Hay, on the river Wye, on the border between England and Wales, is famously picturesque, and I’ll get to that. But I was then struck by a recollection that there was in fact a village in England called Ham (also picturesque, and I’ll get to that too), which is not on the river Wye (though it’s close to the river Avon, as in Stratford-on-Avon, cue Shakespeare, so you could reasonably think of it as Ham-on-Avon) — but if it were, it would be (insert massive groan here) Ham-on-Wye. Well, it gets worse.

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But that’s not I nor you

January 6, 2018

My most recent adventure in pronoun case — the posting “Usage note: NomPred”, about nominative predicative pronouns — ended with a screen capture with the bit of dialogue

No, that’s more you. That’s not me.

which I converted to a piss-elegant pronoun version with That’s not I.

I haven’t found recent examples of this pronoun usage, not That’s not I, That’s not she/he, That’s not they, or (worse) That’s not we — NomPred we is extraordinarily unnatural — but I did find an example from the late 19th century, in a bit of didactic verse for schoolchildren:

Some folks long to die
But that’s not I nor you.

(where it’s repeated as the fourth line of morally instructive quatrains; this is the end of the first verse) — here conveying ‘but that’s not the way you and I are, but you and I aren’t like that’, and so indirectly conveying both ‘but that’s not the way I am, but I’m not like that’ and also ‘nor should that be the way you are, nor should you be like that’.

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The news for mammoths: toy stories

December 18, 2017

Previously on this blog — in #9 in a 12/16 posting “A tale of a bed: from removal to revival” — we met the stuffed woolly mammoths I called Mammuthus Major and Mammuthus Minor on the headboard of my new bed. Elsewhere in my bedroom there are two more toy mammoths, much bigger than these: a once-“animaltronic” hulk with a dark brown rubber-like plastic skin; and a somewhat smaller and more fanciful stuffed toy with a purple, blue, and yellow cloth skin — creatures I call Fey and Butch, shown here (in their native teak and blue habitat) in a somewhat impressionistic photo:


(#1) Fey and Butch, bathed in yellow light

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Food rebellion

November 12, 2017

Yesterday’s posting “Rice pudding in the land of quilted steel” focused on diner rice pudding, but the Wikipedia article covers quite a large territory, including rice puddings in different cultures around the world and rice pudding in popular culture. On the latter front, there’s a humorous poem “Rice Pudding” by A.A. Milne (of Winnie the Pooh fame) that Benita Bendon Campbell has reminded me of. The poem takes off from the Anglo-American tradition of rice pudding as plain food for children or invalids — and shows young Mary Jane’s rebellion against the tradition: “She won’t eat her dinner – rice pudding again”.

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Edgar Allan Peau

November 4, 2017

From King Features’ Comics Kingdom on the 1st, “Ask A Cartoonist: Favorite Authors!”, with a cartoon from Isabella Bannerman of Six Chix:

  (#1)

That’s French peau ‘skin, pelt’. Some people have bear skins on the floor in front of the fireplace; literary types opt for poet pelts.

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Eggcornic verse

October 25, 2017

Passed along on Facebook, this work by Twitter poet Brian Bilston:

(#1)

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Rewind the music, cover your bones with rainbow

September 20, 2017

Sunday’s (9/17) NYT Magazine poem (p. 22), “Remaking the Music Box” by Geoffrey Hilsabeck, selected and introduced by Terrance Hayes.

Illustration by R.O. Blechman (showing two ways of looking at a rainbow):

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Bosco 3

September 2, 2017

In the August 28th New Yorker‘s “Goings On About Town” section, announcing the end of this year’s HVSF season:

Beautiful natural vistas, drama, and history come together at Boscobel House and Gardens, home of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, about ninety minutes north of the city. Exciting unplanned confluences, such as a convoy of helicopters flying over “Macbeth,” occur regularly [thus making a virtue out of inconvenience]. “A Week of Revolution” (Aug. 27-Sept. 4) will include reënactments, picnics, hikes, and a staging of Richard Nelson’s play “The General from America,” about Benedict Arnold, who tried to hand his command of West Point — visible across the river — over to the British.

An intriguing program, but what caught my eye was the name Boscobel for the house and estate. Long familiar to me, but seen in a new light after two Bosco postings on this blog: from the 20th, on Bosco chocolate syrup and the 25th, on Don Bosco (St. Giovanni / John Bosco).

Eventually this will lead us to Miltonian bosky dells and dogs named Bosco (one of whom got elected mayor of Sunol CA some years ago).

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The taunt

August 8, 2017

Today’s One Big Happy has James reciting a piece of American childlore, the taunt “X is a friend of mine” (where X is a name, preferably a trochaic one, like Ruthie, to fit the trochaic tetrameter pattern of the verse):

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A cornucopia of pop culture references.

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Three names

August 2, 2017

The names for yesterday: Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden. The Urkantonen, or original cantons, of Switzerland:

(#1)

Yesterday, August 1st, was Swiss National Day.

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