Saturday, November 16, 2013


Rhyme for a Phonetician

Frances Cornford (1886-1960), "Rhyme for a Phonetician," in The Mercury Book of Verse. Being a Selection of Poems published in The London Mercury, 1919-1930 (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1931), p. 86:
Brave English language, you are strong as trees,
Yet intricate and stately. Thus one sees
Through branches clear-embroidered stars. You please
Our sense as damask roses on the breeze,
And barns that smell of hay, and bread-and-cheese.
Rustic yet Roman, yours are dignities
Sonorous as the seas sound. On my knees
I would give thanks for all your words. Yet these—
Our legacy and our delight—he'd squeeze
And nip and dock and drill, to write with ease
Komershul memoz faw the Pawchoogeese.

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