Sunday, April 17, 2005

If Only There Was A Canadian Version

I took this test online to see what kind of English I spoke; here are the results. It's from the states, so I guess that's why I speak 40% general American English! Someone should make a Canadian version!

Your Linguistic Profile:

40% General American English
30% Yankee
20% Dixie
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern

Let me know how y'all scored!

Monday, April 11, 2005

A Romantic Modernist?

For these last few blogs, I thought I would post on some more modern (post-modern?) poets. I opened up the Norton to the last few hundred pages and scanned. I came across a poet who has only two entries, the last one really caught my attention, especially after taking the test and talking about Romantic Imagination. The poet is Peter Davison (pgs. 1641-1642), he died last year at the age of 76. The poem I want to talk about is called Peaches. It's a short one so I'll type it out, this way you don't have to lug the Norton to your computer!


A mouthful of language to swallow:
stretches of beach, sweet clinches,
breaches in walls, pleached branches;
britches hauled over haunches;
hunched leeches, wrenched teachers.
What English can do: ransack
the warmth that chuckles beneath
fuzzed surfaces, smooth velvet
richness, plashy juices.
I beseech you, peach,
clench me into the sweetness
of your reaches.

Ha! The whole poem is like one big tongue twister! How many of you tripped on the first three lines? I know I did a couple of times. But once you get over the 'tongue-twistiness' and grasp some aspect of it's meaning, you'll realize this poem is not really about peaches at all. It is almost Romantic in that it forces us readers to use our Imagination. It's like Daffodils by Wordsworth, where the poems uses an analogy to make its point.
Davidson is showing us the wonderful ways English can be used. I love the way Davison compares the language to the "warmth that chuckles beneath fuzzed surfaces"; and how he beseeches the peach (that is the English language) to show him (and us) the depth of its reaches. The reason why I gave this blog the title I did was because, although this poem was published in 1989, I feel it's more Romantic than Modern. I really don't see any fragmentation, or any of the things that we talked about it class that make Modernism Modern. But I do see traits of what we talked about in Romantic poetry: Emphasis on Nature, Imagination, etc. Maybe somebody disagrees?
In all, I really liked this poem and if you liked it, you may like the other poem under Peter Davison, Equinox 1980. It's an interesting, kinda pastoral, poem about canoeing on an empty lake.

P.S.: Who's happy the weather's better?