by Kate Burnside
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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somehow triggered by the comment I read today, stating "there are believed to be 20 languages for which there is only one speaker left in the world."
He spots every sunset’s last green flash
from the Muckle Flugga lighthouse;
ties rocks to both his ankles to stop himself
floating away and rehearses twenty
shadow words for different types of dark.
She longs for countdown in Titusville,
aches from dull-thud heft and heave
of gravity in her bones, thinks in unknown
cold-hot terms for burning gas in space.
They laugh at our pinhole knowledge
of planets, the way we call our oceans
and wait for the far-off sandstorms of stars
when, through milky ways, he can shout:
Sohrab-roshan-khurshid? she will answer
in the fluent Pangalactica that reverberates
Simin-azar-banu = silvery-fire-lady
Sohrab-roshan-khurshid = shining-bright-sun
- actually Persian, not Pangalactica! :))
… and although Muckle Flugga sounds like
somewhere Zaphod Beeblebrox might hang out,
it’s actually the most northerly old manned
lighthouse in the Shetland Islands…
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|Reviewed by Odin Roark
|Reads like a Tim Burton pitch for scifi and beyond pic. Would that most of the film far of this genre had even a small percentage of this kind of imagination. But, there's always explosions to detract our sentient will.|
|Reviewed by Charlie
|I love this write, Kate, it's so provocative, and I've enjoyed reading all the different comments as well. It's an interesting perspective we have, considering that as writers, words are our livelihood, our joy and our playthings.
In linguistics, there's just one big question: Which inspires which, the language or the culture? So it's doubly sad when a language slips into the "cold-hot burning gas of space" because we lose a culture, and a people as well. That image of the Peruvian Amazonian thrusting a spear at the overhead airplane is forever burned in my mind.
The other thought I have, is that throughout history, it's been poets who have manipulated, built and expanded language, giving words new nuances, and even inventing for the sake of rhyme or translation. Think on the word "atonement" and look at that word's origens, but now we have technology entering the mix. How do you link something so mechanical with language, that living, breathing..whatever? (you can't call it animal, though it is definitely animated) We'll just say that words are people too.
Recently I re-read Axilea's A. to Alien, I think there's an interesting connection between this poem and that one too. Check it out. --Charlie
|Reviewed by Morgan Merriweather
|you just summed up half the e-mails I received today. I think new languages are being created right now. Mostly by Alien office workers. And that green light you speak of.......thought provoking writing ,Kate! enjoyed. Morgan|
|Reviewed by Patrick Granfors
|I have seen the green flash. We took my folks to Kauai for their 50th anniversary and on our last night there we waited at sunset and were blessfully rewarded just moments after the sun dipped below the horizon. Simple but elegant, much like this poem. Patrick|
|Reviewed by Axilea MU
|Languages disappear, erased from the map, like lost connections. The idea of losing words (and meaning) always makes me sad. I've always been deeply fascinated by Nüshu, the Chinese language (and script) used by women. Who has never dreamed, as a child, of mastering a secret language? Your aliens feel so familiar to me, Kate...
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|This certainly awakened my thought process, Kate. Thank you. Love and best wishes to you,
|Reviewed by Joyce Bell
|KATE...YOU PULLED ME OUT MY WRITING STATION AND, FOR A FEW MOMENTS, ENTICED ME TO BECOME AN 'ALIEN'. YES, I'VE BEEN 'FLOATING' AROUND IN A STRANGE ATMOSPHERE WITH VAST, SUPERB, GALACTICAL INHABITANTS...HIGH, OUTSIDE OF EARTH, 'LISTENING' TO THE VOICE OF THE ONLY 'ONE' WHO IS ABLE TO SPEAK...WITHOUT AN UTTER...EVERY
LANGUAGE EVER SPOKEN, BECAUSE HE CREATED THEM. BUT, ALAS...I MUST RETURN TO EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE, WHERE I WILL INSTANTLY FORGET EVERYTHING I'VE HEARD...RETURN...TO THE 'HEAVE' OF GRAVITY IN MY BONES AND...BE 'CONTENT'...FOR NOW...WITH THE 'PINHOLE' KNOWLEDGE OF PLANETS AND...ALIENS. WOW! THIS IS A MOST UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON...'ALIENS'. THANKS FOR SHARING THIS KEEPER...SO ENJOYED!(COULDN'T YOU TELL? SMILE).LOVE, BLESSING AND FAITH...JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
|Reviewed by Amber Moonstone
|I feell like I am in an episode of National Geographic or the Discovery Station...wow, such a unique and interesting poem. Not at all your typical style but never the less very well stated...
Wishing you and your family much peace, love and light,
|Reviewed by Andy Turner
|Kate, although I can feel and smell the salt of the sea, those from America may not, you see. As this is so very quintessentially English.
Betjerman, our dear ole Betjerman could have written this. Without googling, no yank will know the Shelties. Man, we are a tiny island to them, somewhere near London. lol. could leave them in a mucking fuddle.
As with music, and operas sung in different lingos, it does not remove the beauty you express.
Yet, in so much of your poetry, you do open a window and let others see our isles and its richness.
I'd so love to see even more, from your eloquent penn, talking about the beauty and history of these amazing and most stunning isles in the world.
|Reviewed by Mr. Ed
This sad old world seems to be losing so much these days, including many marvelous old languages.
|Reviewed by John Flanagan
|I love where this takes me, Kate,
into a world of strange and interesting
and certainly different.
|Reviewed by Walt Hardester
|I have never in all my years of sailing seen the "Green Ray."
"For if tonight yee see the green ray, yee know the morrow will be a fine day."(from an old sailors tale)
I do believe thry laugh at us, but are also concerned for wour welfare as a race. I do believe there will be an event next year that will herald an new era for civilization.
Remember, not every change is a bad one.
|Reviewed by Ed Matlack
|Kate, sometimes you can be very weird, but thats what I love about you...keep being weird...e|
|Reviewed by Cryssa C
|I am reminded of the story behind the literary classic by Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins... a girl who was the only remaining person who spoke her language... It has always made me sad to consider all of the things that she wasn't able to communicate. What good is language if no one understands it? Maybe each of us, in our own way, write poetry in order to be understood...although our language and methods differ... Thanks for taking my thoughts to other planets.
|Reviewed by jude forese
|sometimes, i feel like an alien on my own planet, my language is so roshan ;)
interesting poem, Kate ...
|Reviewed by Jon Willey
|the souls of men are bared in linguistics, semantics -- and lore is still the only path to relate so many of them as they had no scripted languages -- to contemplate the losses for humanity is to grieve forever and yet be unable to alter the ultimate outcome -- the immensity of the information and emotions lost is incalculable --what history will be entered with their passing? -- Kate this is an epic my dear friend -- a modern tragedy that most of us do not consider or are unaware of -- I bid you joy, love and peace -- Jon Michael|
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
Oh, alas and drat and drat compounded into a grup. I so loved the poem before you burst my bubble and explained where the Pangalactica language came from . . . And I have had good feelings about the Pangalactica for most of my adult life, which has only been approximately ten years and counting . . .
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Great writing, Kate; well done!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in America, Karen Lynn in Texas.
|Reviewed by Christine Tsen
...and the spoken words of these dying languages hang in the air pregnant with meaning even as their speakers fade away somewhere amongst the birds and the trees, where their essence remains like the Ivory Billed Woodpecker I miss so ... xx