Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I dreamed a dream in sepia tones
From which I have just woken
While it lingers in my memory clear
Let me write now, or it be ne’er spoken.
I chanced along a humming street
In a fine and grand old city
When standing there I spied that poet
How elegant! And how pretty!
She spied me same and stepped across
Through the throngs she swept
She touched my sleeve said let us walk.
I was cheerful to accept.
We strolled the town and heard the buzz
Of shoppers as they passed
Some changes in the streets, Emily,
Since you were here the last.
By and by a frown descended
On Miss Emily’s gentle brow
I knew not the worry that caused such
Not the what, or why, or how.
She grew alarmed, and paler still
And clutched her collar tight
She looked for all the world to be
In midst of woeful fright.
What hell is this? She cried to me
What world? What language uttered?
Dead lie the words that I knew well!
At this her eyelids fluttered.
While trying to bring her from the faint
I listened for a spell
And perceived she may indeed be right
That language is not well.
All about me thundered this:
“I mean, it’s like, you know!
Ummm and ummm and yeah, like yeah,
Like no, you know, I dunno!
It’s so like, yeah and so like, duh,
So totally like whatever?”
I sought to rouse Miss Dickinson
And managed this endeavor.
She sat, and said Please let me leave,
I cannot one more minute
Conceive to shuffle through this world
Oh—why did I begin it!
Those are not words, and less than grunts
This strange tongue and lazy mouth
Can never be translated.
So she left the same way she had come
Into the crowd did melt
I stood in all that baffling sound
And from my dream I woke a sweat
All true! All true! I sobbed.
I had not noticed my good friend Speech
Corrupted, torn and robbed.
If I can stop one mouth from mumbling
One tongue from rolling ‘like’
One lip from spilling ‘you know, nu uh’—
For Language I made a strike.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 9:51 AM