Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Absurdity of English: Singable Update of the Poem "The Chaos" by G.N.Trenité

WORDPLAY POST #32
PASTICHE-POETRY in SINGABLE FORMAT.
ORIGINAL POEM:   "The Chaos" by Gerard Nolst Trenité , 1920. 
SONG LINK: See "post #79" on "Giorgio's Ukable Parodies" 
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, June, 2015.


Original version of the poem "The Chaos"

“The Chaos” is a poem written by the Dutch writer and English-teacher Gerard Nolst Trenité as a comment on the difficulty of English pronunciation. The work was published by the author in various versions (of increasing length) over the period 1920 to 1944; it has frequently appeared unattributed with some re-editing.







NOTES ON THE UPDATING (per G.C.):
I have made changes quite liberally in the poem in adapting it, including 1) removing lines with dated language, 2) giving priority to American rather than British pronunciation,  3) changing the politically-incorrect context with the implied female character now serving as the language expert as well as the inspiration,  4) creating some thematic stanzas based on the subject matter of the targeted orthographic difficulties, and 5) adding a final stanza to emphasize the learner's problem of accenting the correct syllable.

Most importantly, the work has been made singable, including a touch of Caribbean lilt in relation to the ORIGINAL SONG, "Limbo Rock", as recorded, 1962, by Chubby Checker. See Giorgio's version of the song, "Chaos Talk" by clicking at the songlink.





Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenite, 1870-1946




CHAOS TALK 

(Singable Revision of G.N.Trenite's "The Chaos")



Greatest creature God create -
Teacher, please enunciate.
Show how sounds should auscultate
Make my head to oscillate.
Heat up versions in your verse
Words like corpse, corps, horse, hoarse, hearse
Tear in eye, tear dress and worse
Tersely parse, or pierce your purse.

History of a billet-doux  -
Dizzy mystery to me, Sue
Why a busy quasi-poet
On excuse like me do dote
It's enough, you found in jiff
I'm not into petroglyphs,
Aural word-play that you wrote
Oar or ore, rose, rows my boat.

Fair seer, swear, I fear compare
Health, heard; here’s my heartfelt prayer,
Sword and Britain, sweaty mitt
Seems so foreign, how it's writ
'Bidded' better said then 'bade'?
Play-played, bad, pay-paid, laid plaid.
I'll be careful how I speak,
Like: brush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak.

Ballot matches not ballet,
Wallet, mallet (for croquet).
Blood and wood are not good food
Nor is mould like cowed or mooed.
Diet, dies, alive, grieve, live
Wounded, rounded, ivy, sieve
Privy, famous, clamor, damn!
Rhymes with private rhythm, clam.

Allow hallowed, said aloud
People, leopard, snowed, plowed, proud
Fatal channel and banal
Promise and surprise canal
Monkey, donkey, chalk, cork, jerk
Ask, grasp, wasp and work or shirk
Doctrine, asinine, pristine
Mouth, youth, southern, cleanse lens clean.

One, won, only, onion, owe
Two, canoe, too often throw
Four, fork, forty, flour, folk
Eight, weight, wait, faint, feint, weird, woke
No one, none, knot, nothing, love
Some, sum, chute, shone, subtle shove
Many maniacs meant amends
Few refined fiends find true friends.

Brother, older, bother both
Sister, cistern, system; oath!
Father, fatter, falter, fault
Mother, macho, mutter, malt
Daughter, laughter, draft and drought
Son, soup, shoulder, shouldn't shout
Niece and nephew, office, police
Lice, delicious, peace, release.

Winter, women, whine and dyne
Spring, sigh, singer, ginger, sign
Summer, comer, hymn and thyme
Autumn, fallow, chimp and climb
Whether, weather, ware and tare
Front, from, font, and fowl or fare
Mown, sewn, sod in Heaven – odd!
Even eye, I'm overawed.
   
Limbo guys like Gene and John
Dance all night with Jean and Dawn
Just like movies that you've seen
Guests lean back, view groovy scene
Choose loose clothes to cruise the show
Limbo, how low can you go?
Limber ladies – limbs can seize
Please don't freeze and squeeze your knees.

Accent's hard to get correct
As in current or connect
Segment, portrait they portray
Moray, banquet and filet.
Insight, inquest and intent
Recent recipe, cement
Exit or exist, exude
Concert and request - conclude!







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