April 19th, 2011
|05:39 am - My hovercraft is full of eels|
I was just reading this piece on English as She is Spoke, the notoriously bad Portuguese/English phrase book which became a cult comedy hit in the Victorian era. So I got the book for my Kindle and read it yesterday. Here is a poem made entirely from lines from the phrase book.
Lines from a phrase book
The paving stone is slippery.
The thunder bolt is falling down.
The rose trees begin to button.
The hands itch at him.
Have you forgeted me?
We shall have fine weather to day.
I fear of the thunder bolt.
The sun rise on.
The sun lie down.
(I have a letter to write,
It is of my cousin)
Is it true what is told of him?
How the times are changed!
Anciently I had some servants
Who could divine my thoughts.
Their duty was done in an instant.
Were cleanly held.
Look, a hare who run.
It go in the ploughed field.
Let aim it!
Let make fire!
I see a hind.
Do not disturb it.
Let it pass away.
There is no response to this that would do it justice. Perhaps I will just say, "I cannot buy this tobacconist. It is scratched."
The book is very funny if you get a chance to read it
|Date:||April 19th, 2011 09:30 am (UTC)|| |
The guy who wrote it couldn't actually speak English, but he could speak French and he had a French/English dictionary.
|Date:||April 19th, 2011 09:43 am (UTC)|| |
And clearly he wasn't afraid to use it. :)
Well done you, putting it in a poem. Parts of it are even bearable. :D
|Date:||April 19th, 2011 10:34 am (UTC)|| |
That's really beautiful!
|Date:||April 19th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)|| |
I love how the third verse shows the preoccupation of the writer (and the intended users?) with the Servant Problem.
Yes there's a whole small section of phrases on exactly that issue.