Friday, February 1, 2008

In the Thick of It

I'm reading English romantic poetry (Shelley, Blake, etc.) like crazy this week. Never liked them in the past, but I'm loving them this year. Why not?

Don't forget to post a poem tomorrow ... well ... if you want to!


Steve said...

Ah -- poetry day! I will indeed post something. :)

IntangibleArts said...

Meetu! Meetu!

However it may not stand up against Blake and such. I wrote quite a bit some 20ish years ago, & not much at all since then. must've been like passing a stone, psychologically. or something.

Washington Cube said...

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art. ;)

I had this older Southern gentleman from Richmond who taught me freshman English in college...a pure Richmond accent, too. He always called me by my last name, and a huge supporter of my writing, even then.

In class he said one day, appropos of nothing, but maybe because he was closeted gay, "Cube, you must always wear red at a pahty, and you must always stand in the centah of the room."

The day we started reading the Romantic poets, he stood before the class and turned to me and said, "YOU are going to fall in love with these men." He was right. I did.

I also told him my red dress adage: "You have to wear red. Never let it wear you."

Hammer said...

Again, Cube starts throwing around terms like "Richmond accent" with minimal explanation. Given that it's my hometown, I'm curious how what sounds perfectly normal to me might sound to others. I googled it, and damn if she didn't turn up in the first page of results.

Tarnation! The Cube torments me on the google as well!

As for the elongated ah's, yeah that's us. The thing about our people though, is that class very much figures into it too. Rich and poor Richmonders would both say "pahty," but only rich/snooty/high-falutin' ones pronounce the "t" in centah. The rest of us drop it entirely and say "cennah" in much the same way as we say words like we say "innahnet" and "innahrestin'."

Full enunciation is often viewed as an elistist affectation - I kid you not.

Hammer said...

As is spelling "elitist" correctly.


Reya Mellicker said...

Only Southerners and maybe extreme New England yankees, notice class difference in speech anymore. The rest of the U.S. can't even hear the distinctions.

The Brits, like U.S. southerners, can tell you within a mile where any other Brit is from on the islands, just by listening to them talk Their grasp of nuance and intonation is so intricate. In fact some British scientific group did a study to prove that cows moo with regional accents. I am not kidding.

So I'm enjoying your comments, Hammer. Of course, as a former midwesterner who has lived all over the U.S. except the south, I know exactly what Cube means by a "pure Richmond accent."

Cube, even here in the realm of blog, you are always wearing a beautiful dress, often red, and you command the circle always. I salute you.What a story!

Washington Cube said...

Washington Cube said...

Janey's hand is much bettah! Laughing. You have got to listen to those two, Hammer, and tell me you don't hear it.

Barbara said...

I'm never more aware of speech difference than when I go home to the South. Even in north Florida the drawl is thick, slow, and unmistakable. I never had it since my parents were northerners. But my friends all said "Yes Ma'am" and "No Ma'am" as we drank our sweet tea with fried fish and hush puppies. Life moves like molasses there, but then maybe that's healthier than the frenzy we're always in here.

Love the chance to get reacquainted with poems I had forgotten this week. I'm finally starting to understand why I like what I like.

lettuce said...

posted my poem.

happy weekend lovely reya.

Hammer said...

That audio clip hit so close to home that it knocked me unconscious for several hours. Sweet mercy, that's us alright.

My first reaction was, "Okay, but not upper class. Middle tops." Listened to it again and caught one of the giveaways - inserting the word "done" in front of the past tense verb. It's common with the blue collar, but Southern upper class fall over themselves to avoid doing that. You ever hear a rich Richmonder say that, and there's one explanation and one explanation only - "new money."

I love how we turn one-syllable words into two-syllable words: "It was so good to Hee-uh from yuh. Is your HaH-yund any beddah?" And how pretty much all "i" sounds become "ah"'s.

So yeah, point proven and point taken. I notice the accent in the clip, but it doesn't sound particularly unusual to me at all.

Meade Skelton said...

I would like to inform y'all-
Thats my grandmother Catherine who passed away a few years ago- talking to Miss Janey- a very nice black lady who turned 100 years old this year!. She worked for my grandmother for years and helped raise my mother when she was a little girl in Richmond.