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Language and the Human Race



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Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:36 am
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Liminality says...



This will be my first NaPo. As an aspiring linguist, languages are a big part of my life, and so are universals and rampant philosophising. Therefore, here will sit a collection of 30-or-so poems about my favourite field of study.
  





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Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:05 am
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Liminality says...



Day I of NaPo (in my time zone, anyway!)

“. . . in order to know objects, the subject must act upon them, and
therefore transform them . . . " - Jean Piaget


Form: Palindrome


Survivor

Baby knows the word ‘tsunami’
Said never – mummy
That makes that
Intelligence,
Until her growing is
News
Is growing her until
Intelligence,
Mummy – never said
That makes that
‘Tsunami’ word the baby knows.
  





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Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:13 am
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Liminality says...



Day II

Form: Acrostic

Grammar

Grand civilisations are built from
Rules, running down the streets, the alleyways –
A limiting labyrinth of paths – where
Mongolia dances with England in the
Mouth of the city – where the
Air is a battle of noises, where
Rules are the saddle of chaos.
  





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Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:49 am
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bpmzcpl says...



This is so cool. I love the palindrome in Survivor. I'm very excited to get to read the rest of your poems. Already, I can tell that you have a way with words. <3 Good luck!
One day longer,
A little bit stronger
  





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Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:11 am
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Liminality says...



Thank you so much @bpmzcpl! Good luck to you as well :)
  





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Fri Apr 03, 2020 2:16 am
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Liminality says...



Day III

Form: Pantoum

“People are more likely to converge towards the speech patterns of their recipients when they desire recipients’ approval and when the perceived costs for doing so are proportionally lower than the anticipated rewards. “ – Gallois, Ogay & Giles


According to Howard Giles' Communication Accomodation Theory, matching the speech patterns of a conversation partner may be perceived positively or negatively, depending on the intent with which it is attributed.


Convergence: 'Talking to shop-keep in his own language'

Talking to shop-keep in his own language,
You don’t win a prize for trying too hard.
Buy sweet butter and forget the anguish,
Since you are buying, they must use your card.

You don’t win a prize for trying too hard,
On radio they say: “It’s the thought that counts”.
Since you are buying, they must use your card;
Heart-sickness is growing in small amounts.

On radio they say: “It’s the thought that counts”;
Father spits swears, throws away the paper,
Heart-sickness is growing in small amounts,
“They can’t understand, throw away, it’s safer!”

Father spits swears, throws away the paper,
But shop-keep’s glaring at your credit card,
“They can’t understand, throw away, it’s safer!”;
Offer him cash – you keep trying too hard.
  





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Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:51 am
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alliyah says...



You've got such an interesting theme here; I definitely agree that language is fascinating!

Pallindromes are so incredibly difficult - I can never get mine to make hardly any sense or end up needing to cheat a few lines - I think your's worked pretty well though!

Also Pantoums are a challenge too but a lot of fun - I think that one has a lot of interesting lines that just make me pause and read want to read the whole poem again. I really liked stanza two in that and the juxtaposition between some really serious lines and the casual dialogue going on at the same time.

Looking forward to the rest of your poems Liminality!
but i still don't think i can ever love someone
who doesn't understand that teal
is a different color than dark cyan.

my capitalization choices
are intentional


  





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Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:55 am
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Liminality says...



Thanks for your comments, @alliyah! Yeah, palindromes are pretty difficult. I definitely went through a few tries before getting mine to work out, haha.
  





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Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:58 am
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Liminality says...



Day IV

“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”― T.S. Eliot



Form: Echo Verse

And Still

Misnomers reclined with wine call words refined. Find
me maneuvers of words in the tumbleweed field. Field
me a phalanx in multitudinous light. Light
up each pebble, crevice and rock. Rock
roiling hills; see the cradle of speech is spattered with jonquils. Ills
ail them – laughing ills – fevered chaos of everything – thing
is, the language lives and crawls and cries; cries
for things falling, rustling, by shifting light defined – find
me a word: you find nothing is still, still.
  





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Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:04 am
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Liminality says...



Day V

Form: Ballad


Song of the Student

I sat in class alone, alone
I read the words on walls.
The teacher’s board white like a bone
I learnt the creatures’ calls.

The lamp I lit alone, alone
That buzzed to all the flies.
Beside my tiny bed at home
I studied telling lies.

I talked in ink alone, alone
For Mother let me read.
The books like whales they spouted lone
Half-truths, they sowed like seeds.

I gathered them alone, alone
And kept them with a sigh.
When teacher’s gone, and on my own,
Myself must make my lies.
  





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Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:22 am
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AvantCoffee says...



I love your Day 5 poem! <3 <3 You use some really vivid, interesting imagery. I especially love the lines "The teacher’s board white like a bone/I learnt the creatures’ calls." and "That buzzed to all the flies."—the lamp taking on a sound associated with flies works brilliantly with the poems concept of lies, I feel, and is just a really interesting line to ponder!

Looking forward to more of your poems this month! c:
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
— René Descartes
  





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Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:49 pm
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Liminality says...



Thanks for dropping by @AvantCoffee! I'm so happy you liked it :)
  





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Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:48 am
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Liminality says...



Day VI

Spoiler! :
Barton and Tomasello have characterised fathers' speech to children as more challenging, acting as bridges to an unfamiliar conversational partner.

Inspired by this image: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/49406/4 ... ll-221.jpg from a history book on Gutenberg press


Form: Shakespearean Sonnet


Inside a Voice like Fibreglass

The lamp is yawning empty while refueled;
The father perches high on ladder stairs;
The gaslight cover glints, a bronzed shield,
Ornate, obscured from seeking squinting stares.

His polished shoes are keys inside the locks
Of ladder steps, a game of steel and light
Down on the floor, a child stands in the socks
Of knowledge locked; the night obscures their sight.

My father talks inside a voice like fibreglass:
Solid and strenuous – a fort of blackened smoke.
I strain under the weight of oil in brass;
The shine pours out in every sallow stroke.

His hand is bridging down around the burner;
I cannot hear his words – they spark and smoulder.
  





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Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:49 am
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Liminality says...



Day VII

Spoiler! :
Rewritten from my first YWS poem: Country of a Cruel Soul


Form: Villanelle


‘We’ll be free when we die’

Our parents gift us skirts in blue, but not the open sky,
We are allowed a window by our fore-fathers estranged:
We all are monotheists here; we’ll be free when we die.

The navy of the ballot box, it stains our thumbs and dries
Away our hopes and tears, those floating dreams deranged;
Our parents gift us skirts in blue, but not the open sky.

We paint ourselves with age, the reason we can lie
Behind a roiling mass of nouns; ourselves remain unchanged.
We all are monotheists here; we’ll be free when we die.

We wrap our nightmares tight in words; they exit like a sigh,
Our tongues are snaking through a maze of sentences arranged;
Our parents gift us skirts in blue, but not the open sky –

– That glares so bright above! But we will stand up and deny
The ocean for the lake; our words for silken robes exchanged,
We all are monotheists here; we’ll be free when we die.

Condemned to hidden streams behind the forest – choke and cry!
For minds that never change themselves are those that can be changed
Our parents gift us skirts in blue, but not the open sky;
We all are monotheists here; we’ll be free when we die.
  





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Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:02 am
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Liminality says...



Day VIII

“What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.” - Voltaire


Form: Prose poetry



Bees

People plaster names like bees. Bees are squished flat on the salty sidewalk, and sidewalk is just another name for pavement so we see how one word paves the way for the other. The Other oozes odour from the bees we’ve plastered on them – them blood and guts that is the matter in all of us. ‘Us’ is a name, too. Two of us could be enough to smudge another bee-corpse thin on the invisible face of Anger; anger being the plaster for any number of other feasible emotions: it lets us smell them out in the dark. Dark days drone ahead, in patterns of figures eight, to rotten flowers. Flowers are sought-out by names, roiling roses, bouquets of cards and signed by people. People are spread flat on the bitter sidewalk, naming and naming, and are crushed beneath the names like winded bees.
  








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