Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"The Sadness of the Lingua Franca" by Christina Davis


In Bird, I speak brokenly. Hiss and flail and never learn.

And the swan will never mouth
the noun for bread,
the declensions of crumb. Though I could stop

its migration with a crumb.

After English, we never do get to be strangers again.

The language is famous and followed,
it has no loneliness left.

It has made it to the moon. It has got god
to speak it. It will get
to everything first, if it can.

But not the swan, pale as a page
I will never have written.

Source of the text – Christina Davis, Forth a Raven.  Farmington, ME: Alice James Books, 2006, p. 17.

TJB: Success and progress are treated as sad in this finely-alliterated lyric in three parts: swan, English lecture, swan. Maybe try Esperanto…

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