Sunday, December 04, 2016
Forsaking One's Native Language
Helen B. Cruickshank (1886-1975), "To An Aberdeen Poet Who Writes Solely In English," in David McCordick, ed., Scottish Literature in the Twentieth Century: An Anthology (Dalkeith: Scottish Cultural Press, 2002), pp. 252-253 (line numbers added):Newer› ‹Older
What ails ye at yer mither tongue?The "wey o' life" and language of my Scottish ancestors are too distant and mysterious for me to understand at first sight, so I need some notes:
Hae ye forgot the tang o' it?
The gurly guttrals, malmy soonds,
The dirly words, the sang o' it?
An wad ye cuist it a awa, 5
Like bauchles on a midden-heid?
Man, think agen afore ye sell
Yer saul tae saft-like English leid.
Wad ye forget the ballad-speik,
Melodeon's chord and fiddle's clink, 10
Forsweir yer grandad's wey o' life,
Swap uisge-beatha for Kola drink?
Say 'Shinty is too rough a game
And cricket's more my cup of tea.'
Weel, hyne awa fae Aiberdeen, 15
For feich, ye'e owre genteel for me!
3 gurly: rough; malmy: soft, mellowRelated posts:
4 dirly: thrilling?
6 bauchles: old shoes
8 leid: language
16 feich: exclamation of disgust, cf. faugh