Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

National Poetry Day

I'm out all day today. I am going with Victoria to Bristol, to check out the venue for our Board meeting. We are having a tour of the HP labs there, and looking round the hotel facilities. I may just have to check that the cream teas and cakes reach minimum standards (what diet? shhhh)

Meanwhile it's National Poetry Day in the UK. What to post?

hafren has posted a poem that uses Ancient Greek, redstarrobot has posted one in dinosaur language (read comments for a perfect translation). I thought it might be nice to post a poem written in non-standard English.

So here is 'Mi Revalueshanary Fren' by Linton Kwesi Johnson, which is one of my favourite modern poems. It's written as a deliberate phonetic rendering of his own performance.This is someone representing his own form of oral English - not an outsider pastiching it. The rhythm is brilliant.

This poem looks difficult to read, but if you read it out loud it flows perfectly. It was written a few years ago, and a lot of the things his revolutionary friend said 'have to go' have gone.

Mi Revalueshanary Fren

mi revalueshanary fren is nat di same agen
yu know fram wen ?

fram di masses shata silence
staat fi grumble
fram pawty paramoncy tek a tumble
fram Hungary to Poelan to Romania
fram di cozy cyassle dem staat fi crumble
wen wi buck-up wananada in a reaznin
mi fren always en up pan di same ting
dis is di sang im love fi sing :

Kaydar
e ad to go
Zhivkov
e ad to go
Husack
e ad to go
Honnicka
e ad to go
Cauchescu
e ad to go
jus like apartied
wi av to go


awhile agoh mi fren an mi woz taakin
soh mi seh to im :

wat a way di eart a run nowadays, man
it gettin aada by di day
fi know whey yu stan
cauz wen yu tink yu deh pun salid dry lan
wen yu cteck a stack yu fine yu ina quick-san
yu noh notice ow di lanscape a shiff
is like valcanoe unda it an notn cyaan stap it
cauz tings jusa bubble an a bwoil doun below
strata seperate an refole
an wen yu tink yu reach di mountain tap
is a bran-new platow yu goh buck-up

mi revalueshanary fren shake im ed an im sigh
dis woz im reply :

Kaydar
e ad to go
Zhivkov
e ad to go
Husack
e ad to go
Honnicka
e ad to go
Cauchescu
e ad to go
jus like apartied
wi av to go


well mi nevah did satisfy wid wat mi fren mek reply
an fi get a deepa meanin in di reaznin
mi seh to im :

well awrite
soh Garby gi di people dem glashnas
an it poze di Stalinist dem plenty prablem
soh Garby leggo peristrika pan dem
canfoundin bureacraetic strategems
but wi haffi face up to di cole facks;
im also open up pondora's bax
yes, people pawa jus a showa every awa
an eyrybady claim dem demacratic
but some a wolf an some a sheep
an dat is prablematic:
nah tings like dat yu woulda call dialectic ?

mi revalueshanary fren pauz awhile an im smile
den im look mi in mi eye an reply :

Kaydar
e ad to go
Zhivkov
e ad to go
Husack
e ad to go
Honnicka
e ad to go
Cauchescu
e ad to go
jus like apartied
wi av to go


well mi couldn elabarate
plus it waz gettin kinda late
soh in spite a mi lack af andastandin
bout di meanin a di changes in di eas
fi di wes nonediless
an aldow mi av mi rezavayshans
bout di cansiquenses an implicashans
espehsaally fi black libaraeshan
to bring di reaznin to a canclushan
ah ad woz to agree wid mi fren
hopein dat wen wi meet up wance agen
wi coulda av a more fulla canvahsaeshan

soh mi seh to im, yu know wat ?
im seh wat ? mi seh :

Kaydar
e ad to go
Zhivkov
e ad to go
Husack
e ad to go
Honnicka
e ad to go
Cauchescu
e ad to go
jus like apartied
soon gaan
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