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book review

From:Jonathan Chang <zhang2323@...>
Date:Sunday, June 4, 2000, 0:23
'Colorless green ideas sleep furiously' - Noam Chomsky

    Today I received a book titled _Lingua Franca: An anthology of poetry by
linguists_ edited by Donna Jo Napoli & Emily Norwood Rando, Jupiter Press,
($24 ... ouch...157 pages, independent press-style binding... ::: makes
motions with "paws" like a burnéd chimpanzee:::)

    Not much of interest of a direct Conlanging nature, but some nice
wordplay "gems" here & there (& there seems to be that a lotta linguists have
cats as pets - there is one good dog poem tho' =)  SEE BELOW).
    There are some goodies that may have a ConCulture aspect tho'.

    Most of the poems are predominantly (predominatingly?) English. (Maybe
cuz most the linguists included are American, eh?)

    List of poet/linguists (besides the editors): William Bright, Joanna
Radwanska Williams, Dell Hymes, Joe Malone, Eva Koktova, Adam Makkai, Charles
Tilly, Jonas N.A. Nartey, Rosa Needleman, Marcello Ceccarelli, Ralph Fasold,
Regna Darnell, Roger Westcott, Angus McIntosh, Deborah Tannen, Paul
Friedrich, Peter E. Hook, Ian Hancock, Robert J. Di Pietro, Susanna Cumming,
Emmon Bach, Chrystopher Nehaniv, Charles F. Hockett, Catherine A. Callaghan,
Donald A. Sears, Anthony L. Vanek, Ursula Wadey, Clifford Hill, Eric P. Hamp,
Diana Dahbany-Miraglia, Kenneth L. Pike, Haj Ross, Jorge Guitart, Alton Beck,
Lise Menn.
    <I wrote this all up in case any of you recognize anyone - famous (i.e.
Paul Friedrich); infamous (i.e. Deborah Tannen); or some old professor, TA,
colleague, etc.>

a sample poems:


    Our dog Bruno
    as a puppy
    didn't bark.
    We worried
    about his BAD,
    his Barking
    Device, that is.
    Was it working?
    when he was 2 months old
    he barked.
    No one
    taught him.
    No other dog
    was near.
    Isn't nature great?


    Chrystopher Nehaniv  ULTIMATED UNDULATE BOVINE

    I was during frolicly alnight long,
    Sing thinged the ruminate whether
    What it was, was furiously
                the see
    Blink nots us all the same to me
    So seems probably the seem-self
        down off a ducking,
    Dress dress dress
    Shakes shake shakes so only!
    Turn turns betweener turns,
    The same is true for ewe:


Emily N. Rando & Donna J. Napoli


    After the serpents licked her ears
    After she passed into the other world
    After she learned to understand
    The languages of birds and animals
    As well as all tongues and pidgins of man,
    She was piqued to find upon reflection
    That when her two knowing birds spoke
    And told such strange secret amazing things
    They sounded as birds had before.

    Everything the same.
    Range the same,
    Pitch duration pause.

    But now she could bear

    To listen

    To the silence between.
- - - -- ----      - -- ----     -   -      -

    Cara petite,
    Con tu visage tan classique tan grave,
    Educata a serenité
    Por i due aves beddos,
    Phero al luban.
    Prego che lu dolce olor
    Levanta tu anima
    E le dona alas.
    Leibo agua clara.

    Tu chlanidion un wadi de piedra.
    Las secretas illiteras que kine in lapis
    Pasan de pico ad labra.

    Se ascolto bene,
    Questo gün hafta ay sene vakit,
    Ke karteri,


    . . . you peeps (you peep, I peep, we all peep into lighted boxes...)
enjoyed this long re-view, I hope.

    ::wrings poor aching Sloth-Style Typist "toes":: (in fact, I type with 3
digits of each hand, guess that makes me a 3 Toed Sloth-Style Typist... sorta
a "take-off" on kung fu/gung fu styles).

    The Beat poet Jack Kerouac wrote: "...The Sloth is a Chinese poet


... & now for a poem by Yours Truly (appearing for the 1st time anywhere):

    Does the Grape Ape translate?

    oh, does the Grape Ape translate?
    what is "soda" to do in 3rd World _nashun langwajz_?
    CocaColanialization? Pepsiplantations?
    Do the computer hackers in Jakarta
    Drink Jolt Cola? Or has it gone "native"?

    In India, is King Kong another Incarnation of Hanuman?
    Does Jesus Christ advertise _Amerika kago_ in Papua NiuGini?