La casita que hizo Conchita

This is the House that Jack Built

Anon

Spanish words by Timothy Adès
This is the House that Jack Built
This is the house that Jack built. This is the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the dog, That worried the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the cow with the crumpled horn, That tossed the dog, That worried the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the maiden all forlorn, That milked the cow with the crumpled horn, That tossed the dog, That worried the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the man all tattered and torn, That kissed the maiden all forlorn, That milked the cow with the crumpled horn, That tossed the dog, That worried the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the priest all shaven and shorn, That married the man all tattered and torn, That kissed the maiden all forlorn, That milked the cow with the crumpled horn, That tossed the dog, That worried the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the cock that crowed in the morn, That waked the priest all shaven and shorn, That married the man all tattered and torn, That kissed the maiden all forlorn, That milked the cow with the crumpled horn, That tossed the dog, That worried the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the farmer sowing the corn, That kept the cock that crowed in the morn. That waked the priest all shaven and shorn, That married the man all tattered and torn, That kissed the maiden all forlorn, That milked the cow with the crumpled horn, That tossed the dog, That worried the cat, That killed the rat, That ate the malt That lay in the house that Jack built.
La casita que hizo Conchita
Esta casita la hizo Conchita. Esta es la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Esta es la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Esta es la perra que pica la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Esta es la vaca con cuerna chafada que lanza la perra que pica la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Esta es la chica funesta lechera a la vaca con cuerna chafada que lanza la perra que pica la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Este es el hombre rasgado quien besa a la chica funesta lechera a la vaca con cuerna chafada que lanza la perra que pica la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Este es el cura rapado quien casa a aquel hombre rasgado quien besa a la chica funesta lechera a la vaca con cuerna chafada que lanza la perra que pica la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Este es el gallo que canta temprano, despierta a aquel cura rapado quien casa a aquel hombre rasgado quien besa a la chica funesta lechera a la vaca con cuerna chafada que lanza la perra que pica la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita. Hay un granjero quien siembra buen grano quien cuida aquel gallo que canta temprano, despierta a aquel cura rapado quien casa a aquel hombre rasgado quien besa a la chica funesta lechera a la vaca con cuerna chafada que lanza la perra que pica la gata que mata la atroz ratoncita que almuerza la malta surtida en la dicha casita que hizo Conchita.
A popular English nursery rhyme, more background on Wikipedia

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Pearls of the dew

D’Pirlen vum Tau

Anon

Luxemburg Folk Song
D’Pirlen vum Tau
D’Pirlen vum Tau Das sind dein Diamanten D’Blumen im Feld Das sind dein Hochzaitskleid D’Nachtigallenchor Das sind dein Musikanten An dein treit Herz Ist mein Glickseligkeit.
Pearls of the dew
Pearls of the dew They are your diamonds Flowers of the field They are your wedding dress Nightingale choir They are your musicians In your true heart Is all my happiness.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Farewell

Abschied (II)

Alfred Lichtenstein (1889- 1914)

Abschied (II)
Vorm Sterben mache ich noch mein Gedicht. Still, Kameraden, stört mich nicht. Wir ziehn zum Krieg. Der Tod ist unser Kitt. O, heulte mir doch die Geliebte nit. Was liegt an mir. Ich gehe gerne ein. Die Mutter weint. Man muß aus Eisen sein. Die Sonne fällt zum Horizont hinab. Bald wirft man mich ins milde Massengrab. Am Himmel brennt das brave Abendrot. Vielleicht bin ich in dreizehn Tagen tot.
Farewell
I write these lines before I die. Don’t disturb, comrades, just pass by. We’re off to war, where death is all. I wish my darling wouldn’t bawl. It’s up to me. I’ll go! I’m glad. Mum sobs. We must be iron-hard. Down to the skyline sinks the sun. Soon in a mass grave I’ll be thrown. The evening glow is good and red. In thirteen days I may be dead.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

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Categories
German

Margarethe: To Men

Margarethe

Translated by Timothy Adès

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Categories
German

Timothy Ades: Jack mit Jill

Timothy Adès

Translated by Timothy Adès

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The Excellent Wessex Event (When She Wedded Me)

Timothy Adès

‘The Excellent Wessex Event’ is based on the 1967 Film ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and a Betjeman Heroine. Winner of the Flamingofeather Long Poem Prize, 2013, it was published in Long Poem Magazine, 2014, with an Apparatus Criticus. “… a breathtaking, single–vowelled tour de force: ‘She fells these three fellers, Ms B. Everdene. / Terence weds her, then flees; she tells Peter: “Wed me!” ’ ” — Greg Freeman in Write Out Loud “Timothy Adès’ ‘The Excellent Wessex Event’ uses the Oulipo univocal lipogram omitting a, i, o and u to produce a narrative poem in rhyming couplets drawing upon the film version of Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd. This one-hundred-line sequence comes with a set of multi–language footnotes all with the same impediment.” — David Caddy's blog, Tears in the Fence

Introduction to ‘The Excellent Wessex Event’

This univocalic lipogram won an, um, won a Flamingo–Quill (that’s almost right) award, six months, no, many months ago. It honours two icons of British womanhood, drawing on Thomas Hardy’s book Far From A Madding Crowd, or strictly on a film of that book which was famous in my youth, and on a suburban mini–saga of sport and courtship by an illustrious Old Marlburian, which harks back to my boyhood, south of London. What is a lipogram? It’s a form of writing popular with a Gallic group known as Oulipo, that is to say ‘Writing Possibility Workshop’, although ‘lipo–’ may go back to Plato’s old word for ‘omit’ … not, I might add, to his similar word for ‘fat’. A lipogram is all about having a constraint, such as omitting a basic unit (or two) from a particular composition. If you look at this paragraph, you won’t find any omission of A, I, O or U. An accompanying apparatus criticus informs of variants found in manuscripts, or thought up by scholars, and will cast light on any occasional obscurity. I did classics as a schoolboy, and sat through any amount of this kind of thing. If at any point you can’t follow my non–local lingo, why not look for a translation on my www.
The Excellent Wessex Event (When She Wedded Me)
(N.B. PRECEDENCE: THE PEER EXEMPTED) We exempt the respected Ned Wessex, the peer: He needn’t feel he’d be the reference here. Well, he weren’t yet preferred, when these verses were penned! Ex Egbert the Elder, three brethren descend. HERSELF MS B. EVERDENE, MS B. EVERDENE, Deep–zested, tweed–chested, the Western sweet–teen! Her best speed exceeded the fleet leveret; Her feet were the slenderest, tenderest yet. Wessex! Wells, Mells, the Cheverells, the Kennet, the Test; There’s Tess Debrett–Deference, there’s Jed the Repressed; The beech–trees’ green excellence shelters the sheep; Beetles nestle, well–fed; replete trenchermen sleep. Let the fevered seethe elsewhere. Remember the scene? She fells these three fellers, Ms B. Everdene. Terence weds her, then flees; she tells Peter: ‘Wed me!’ Peter’s pellet fells Tel; she weds Zebedee Tree. Let the reckless recede: Wessex needn’t be pestered. Well, her sheep swelled, blenched, sweltered; her bell–wethers festered; Her ewes needed helpmeets, the sweet shepherdess! Bergère légère, sévère détresse. They freed the pent breezes, they gentled her sheep, Re–fettled the helpless, defenceless Belle–Peep. They helped her mend fences, keep bees, sell her fleeces, Brew beers, wrestle steers, breed red setters, press cheeses. She entered her jennet, she swept three events: She wrecked, she sternwheelered the three–decker fence. When she screen–tested, Elstree’s behests were exceeded: ‘Three cheers!’ Terence yelled: yet she’ll never be needed. (When she entered the Beckmesser Best Verse Event, ‘We deem ye’re the best’ wheezed the letter they sent. ‘These verses were excellent — best ever seen: Yet we need seven fewer — ye’ve sent seventeen!’). She revered the Berserkers, kept her épées well flexed: She peppered the mêlée, mere nerds were de–sexed! When she vented her spleen, the events were extreme…! She fenced well; she effected the deeds we esteem. She led her eleven (three sevens less ten): We felt her svelte vehemence, we keen Wessex men. She served — the bets lengthened — she swept the next set: ‘Twelve–twelve: even stevens! They’ll strengthen the net.’ Deep red were the tresses her green eyes reflected; Red–eyed, tremble–cheeked the wet men she’d rejected. She jested, she bested me, 17–3! Strength, speed, perfect deftness, Ms Everdene B. MR EVERDENE (he’s her begetter: he engendered her.) Mr Everdene’s seedbeds: well–weeded, well–dressed! He’s served me the genever, fresh–peeled the zest. ‘Seven bells!’ bleeps the ether. The Beeb tells the News: Kew’s new helter–skelter. Pelé meets Henley crews. We’ve smelt, these few weeks, Mr Everdene’s herbs: We’ve spell–checked (he’s the expert!) Perec’s e–less French verbs. He’s helped her ‘self–reference,’ yet nevertheless Kept secret the preference she’ll never express. He ‘respects’ Bells Yew Green, he ‘prefers’ Peterlee, Where the tenement–dwellers resettled, felt free. ‘Remember’, he stressed, ‘the best verses extend, Yet resemble, the precedents better men penned.’ [Theme: ‘Greensleeves’] He’s the Verderers’ Verger, he re–elmed The Glebe, Re–nested the egret, re–crested the grebe. He re–elvered the Exe, when her nether emergence Went eel–less. ‘We need fresher, greener detergents!’ The week when dense kex–weed enfeebled the Trent, (Even newts were perplexed!) he’s the geezer they sent. He metered the elements, tested the presence, Tended reed–beds, dredged trenches, expelled the excrescence. He let eels beget elvers: they revelled, went legless! Wrens, tree–creepers, greylegs, he never left eggless. He preserved the West Erg, where the Ténéré tree Met her Meddler. Meseemed he’d preserve even Me. THE PLEDGE [Sennet.] The Evercreech Levée! Green–belted her dress; Sheer–selvedged, her neckleted red–freckledness. We went there; the fenderless Edsel relented; She seemed pre–selected, her cheeks smelled sweet–scented. Well–heeled Wessex vespers! The well–tempered keys! The nerveless resplendence! The strength next the knees! We’ll let Messrs Sleepeezee pre–test the bed, The pelmet, the tester, the sheets, WHEN WE WED! The deckle–edged letters, the speech, the set jest, The new, well–hedged nest–egg (she’s pledged me the nest!); The leek–green Welsh dresser, the cleverest shelves Where the bent Penney’s rejects re–centre themselves. The SwebCentre’s deep–freezer–chest sets the scene; Crested Berkertex bed–sheets, we’ll sleep strewn between. There’ll be Everest fenêtres: the bevel’s recessed: Le vent ne pénètre, when the lever’s depressed. HERE’S THE STEEPLE [Enter the celeste, etc. Sweet glees] Yestereven the Western defenders were here: St Keverne, St Erney, St Clether, St Cleer. We feel we’ve repented whenever we’ve erred; They’ll bless the deep bed, get the sentence deferred. Presents! Here’s The Red Desert, Steele, Sterne, Stephen Spender, Ted Dexter, Pete Seeger, The Creep, The Pretender. Let’s get the blend perfect! The Reverend, the bells! … Elder Dempster! Three Weeks! Bêches de Mer! The Seychelles! WE NEVER EXPECTED THE EVENT’S REPELLENT END… She SPEWED crème de menthe, MESSED her velveteen breeches, She DRENCHED her three nephews, prevented the speeches. Ms JEZEBEL Everdene’s never been wed: She’s rendered me REDELESS — the new ETHELRED! Yes, she wended, went west, she bereft me, defected, She schlepped, de–selected, she left me dejected, Yes, she expleted, reverted, depleted, DESERTED THE BED! She dwells where the Menderes enters the Med.

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There's Plenty Left To Do...

Timothy Adès

It is not easy to survive nowadays - title of a poem by Xu Zhimo Ecopoem for Xu Zhimo Festival 2021
There's Plenty Left To Do...
First, flee from fossil fuels. – Cut coal, calamitous carbon-cooker, catastrophic. Go green: gladden Gaia. Grudge gas. Seek SUN: see society sunlit, sun-soaked, sun-sated. Send solar supply skyrocketing, A REAL RENEWAL OF FUEL ! Avoid airports and aeroplanes. Curb cars, take trains, be beautiful by bicycling. Stop stravaiging, stampeding. STAY STILL. Work with winds, wake with windmills, win water-wealth where wild waves wallow: tap the tideways, tame Tethys. Turn the tide! Reform rethink repair replace reduce retrench, REFUTE ; REFLECT ; RESPECT. Proclaim peace, piety, penitence, Philadelphia – Penn’s Pennsylvania principle, Brotherly Love. BUILD BROTHERHOOD! Halt hostilities, drop disputes, forge friendships, Teach techniques, exchange expertise, talk to translators, prepare poets, persuade politicians. Proscribe pandemics, prescribe panaceas. Install insulation insistently, invest in it, it’s inexpensive, intelligent. Imitate igloos! Whisk wealth wherever wealth’s wanted, whoosh water wherever, whenever, without waging war. Beef-binges burn Brazil. Eschew energy-expensive excesses exhausting Earth’s ecumenical ecology. Eat, eke, eclectically: stuff sensibly, sustainably. CRISIS! CHANGE COURSE! CAMBRIDGE * CHINA * CHANGE Change Asia Americas Africa Australia Europe Everywhere CHANGE NOW

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Apparatus Criticus to ‘The Excellent Wessex Event’

Timothy Adès

Winner of the Flamingofeather Long Poem Prize, 2013, it was published in Long Poem Magazine, 2014, to accompany The Excellent Wessex Event.
Apparatus Criticus to ‘The Excellent Wessex Event’
THE TEXT Le Texte Der Text Cette épenthèse sent le népenthès… et ce texte “se désenténèbre lentement” — de l’enfer! 1 THE MSS. Peter the Exegete remembers… The Ellesmere Ms emerged embedded between bergs; the ‘Leyden en Deventer’ Mss (they spend three weeks here, three there) were wedged between cheeses, where the gentle effervescence (the senescent whey) preserved them. 2 LE TEXTE RÉCEMMENT RECENSÉ. Recensent tres expertes: Greer, Bentley, Greenberg. 4 Egbert the Elder je préfère de le prétendre; en effet les frères descendèrent, entre trente–sept–cent trente–sept décédés et décédées, d’Éthelrède ‘the Redeless’. nec rex est, there’s never been, ‘Egbert the Elder’. Ethelbert de Kent certe rex est, sed egens, ne reges generet. 15 Les mecs de l’Éverdène: Térence déserte les tentes (regrets!); Peter s’emmêle (je répète: regrets!); elle se sert de l’excellent Lechêne. 19 her ewes needed helpmeets Exegetes; she needed ten shepherds Mss; shepherdesses Greer 20 Bergère: shepherdess, the French term. 21 they gentled Bentley; vented (skewered) Mss 25–46 she tests herself 29 reserved verse serves 39 reversed serve swerves! 29 Beckmesser: der Etepetete, den der Lerchenschmetternwettbewerb sehr, sehr ekelte. 30 wheezed/breezed/sneezed spelled went kvetched preened préférèrent les élèves 31 excellent — best Mss; peerless — the best ‘verbessert’ Werther 33 her épées: she’s the best fencer, she’s meddled: her level best resembles the peerless Beth Tweddle’s. These entered the event: sex bene vel septem se selegere merentes, / sed temere, gentes (entre elles les grecs et les ndébélé): deesse necesse gregem. 48 Twelve Regent Street temptresses fleeced Henley crews Mss: nec repetere nec vere credere decet. Westchester temptresses Greenberg; Nettlebed (près de Henley) Bentley; Benenden (ses élèves femelles!) Greer; Tennessee temptresses Dewey; serpent–necked nem. 52 ‘The perfect gent!’ — Ps. –Psell. 53 Bells Yew Green: neben der Grenze des Kent. Where’s Kent, then? Kent’s left leg nestles Essex, / The sweet remembered scene: The Chelmer, yes, the SX Press, / Well–tempered, well serene. The dexter leg: here’s Lewes, / Smeeth, Beckley, Bells Yew Green, The Seven She’s. Yes, Pevensey’s / Where Frenchmen steeled the scene. Well, Kent ferments elevenses, / She brews her beers, between. Ethelbert’s men were Kent men, (Newenden, Benenden, Tenterden, Bethersden): brewed the best beers, left fewest weeds. Yet Sheppey’s shepherds weep! They keep the blest Redeemer’s Beth–El creed, the ‘Feed these sheep’: Bethlehem feeds these men. The reckless, feckless Ethelbert never heeds. The Ebbsfleet sleeper speeds, he needs Sheerness, he gets defencelessness… Where Pegwell’s clement edge respects, reflects, the next recess, where the French vessels, et les belges, precede, rejects the pledge: the lengthened cheerless pebble–yells regress, the fleet creed ebbs, the lessened creed recedes. 59 The eldest texts prefer re–elvered…went eel–less; the newest, re–brent–geesed… went geeseless. Je schwerer der Text, dementsprechend verehrenswerter! These verses were never deleted. 61 the Trent: Le célèbre “Trent” fend le centre de l’Engleterre (bêtement épelée) et démêle nettement les évêchés. Certes ce Trent décéléré de M. Éverdène semble être dementgegen der sehr enge Trent des Westens, dessen Nennen der Mensch der Gegend stets verdreht, stets verpestet! 67 The desert’s extremest depths sheltered the blessed Ténéré Tree, between Fez, Meknès, et Le Bel Erg de l’Est… Elsewhere, the desert tree sees her desert tree brethren. Here, she never sees them! She’s — they’re — deserted. Well, then, yer feckless French feller necked seven treble beers, belched, held the wheel, pressed the self–server, de–clenched, re–belched, reversed well heedless, then WHEEP! the berk felled the defenceless tree. See Credere Rem Velles, Nec Rem Bene Credere Velles (New–Jerseyer Lehrheft Des Sehr Selten Erlebten). 71 fenderless Edsel. Edsel, bzw. Etzel: verwester Feldherr; bemerkter Esel des Verkehrs, Fehler des Werbewesens. hell–bent Mercedes Greenberg; self–centred Bentley Bentley 80 Penney’s: where the lesser spenders went: they spent fewer cents. 80a +Helen Vendler sent sentences, peer–refereed; Her pensées were jewels, the deemsters decreed.+ (Yes, well these presents were never presented.) 83 Everest der hehrste Berg der Welt; Fensterhersteller 92 Elder Dempster: they sent well–keeled, well–crewed vessels wherever the breezes blew. Weren’t the well–heeled well–served — well–stewed, even. Here, Shtewerd!! 92 Bêches the Exegetes; Bêtes Bentley; Belles Ellesmere; Shells Leyden en Deventer 95a degenerem recte rem delevere decentes. 95b +Hell’s bells! Even Ellen Degeneres fled!+ verehrenswerter! 96 Ethelred “regem hebetem et segnem, segetem nec mente ferentem, mel de melle merens flet edens de felle fel heres.” 98 messed yes; skewed x bleeped y speckled z. 100 Menderes: le Mendérès erre et serpente (c’est célèbre: c’est le verbe même, exprès, des hellènes) et se déverse vers l’est de l’Égée, belle mer, près de ces mêmes hellènes. Cette mer Égéenne! — scène des événements de légende! Ces événements embêtèrent l’excellent Énée et le père d’Énée et même l’élève–éphèbe (eh ben, le bébé) né d’Énée. Entendez–le, cet Énée désespéré! — « Mère! Chère mère! Très belle et céleste déesse! Entends, entends! Sèche mes vedettes trempées! Remets les vents, défends les tempêtes! Je cherche les belles terres, les belles femmes et les Mécènes. » “Gegen entgegengesetzte Sterne strebt der edelste Held selbst vergebens.” LE CENTRE BELGE DE RECHERCHES ENTRE LES BELLES–LETTRES, DEMESNE DE SENEFFE. NEC DEBES CREDERE
Translations This appendage smells of the Homeric drug that banishes grief … and this text ‘slowly disentenebrates’ — from hell! (The one–vowel phrase is from a poem of Jean Cassou: my translation in the book 33 Sonnets … runs: ‘From hollow pools of gloom so slow to go’.) 1 ‘Leyden and Deventer’ 2 The text recently redacted. Three experts redacted it. Bentley: the 18th–century scholar. Greer, Clement Greenberg: modern pundits. 4 Egbert the Elder So I prefer to claim; in fact the brothers descended, among 3,737 deceased persons male and female, from Ethelred the Unready. Nor is there such a king as Egbert the Elder. Ethelbert of Kent is certainly a king, but seems to have had few royal descendants. 15 Everdene’s geezers: Terence quits the tent (sadly); Peter gets into a mess (again, sadly); she is well–served by the excellent Oak. Terence Stamp (Sergeant Troy), Peter Finch (Squire Boldwood), Alan Bates (Gabriel Oak). 29 Beckmesser: the fusspot who was deeply irritated by the larks’ warbling contest. From the opera Die Meistersinger. 30 the pupils preferred 32 Werther’s ‘improvement’. Young man in novel by Goethe. 33 A good six or seven peoples came forward, daringly, yet with merit, among them the Greeks and the Ndebele: such a crowd has had to be omitted. (Latin elegiac couplet.) 48 it is not decent to repeat this, nor indeed to believe it. Nettlebed near Henley. Benenden (its female pupils!) nem. = nemo, no–one. 52 Ps.–Psell. Pseudo–Psellus, a commentator who might have been Psellus, but was not. Psellus: an eminent Byzantine. 53 Bells Yew Green, in East Sussex: near the Kent boundary. The poem ‘Ethelbert’s Men’ contrasts the devout shepherds of Sheppey (‘sheep–isle’) with the pagan Ethelbert, whose queen was St Bertha. She supported St Augustine, who landed at Ebbsfleet. Pegwell Bay, famously painted by Dyce, is near the ferry–port of Ramsgate; Dover Beach is where Matthew Arnold noted ‘the melancholy, long, withdrawing roar’ of faith. 59 ‘The harder the text, so much the more worthy of respect.’ The scholars’ principle, when manuscripts disagree: difficilior lectio potior, the more difficult reading should prevail: inferring from the confusion that the original, correct, text must have been something peculiar. This idea has led to some very peculiar conjectures. 61 The famous Trent splits the middle of England (stupidly spelt) and neatly separates the bishoprics. Certainly, this slowed–down Trent of Mr Everdene‘s seems to be, in contrast, the very narrow Trent of the West Country [‘the Piddle’], whose name the local people are forever plaguing and perverting! 67 ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ tells of the world’s loneliest tree, knocked down by a French truck–driver. Déclencher, to release, let go; débrayer, to de–clutch. ‘You might wish to believe the matter, and you might not’ (Latin hexameter). New Jersey Primer of the Very Rarely Experienced. 71 Edsel variously Etzel: long–dead warlord (Attila); notorious ass of the traffic, marketing blunder. An unsuccessful Ford car named after Henry Ford’s son Edsel. 83 Everest the world’s most exalted mountain; window manufacturer. 95a Something degenerate which decent folk have rightly deleted. (Latin hexameter.) 95b more deserving of honour. 96 Ethelred “A king dull and sluggish, no brain-bran at all, whose heir in despair deserves sugar’s sugars, devours gall of gall.” (Two Latin hexameters.) 100 The Menderes wanders and snakes (it’s famous: it’s the very word of the Greeks, explicitly, the Meander) and pours out on the east of the Aegean, lovely sea, close to those same Greeks. That Aegean Sea! — scene of legendary events! Those events annoyed the excellent Aeneas and the father of Aeneas and even the teenage schoolboy, OK the little son of Aeneas. Hark at him, the despairing Aeneas! — “Mother! dear mother! Most beautiful, heavenly goddess! Hear, o hear! Dry out my waterlogged pinnaces! Put away the winds, prohibit the tempests! I’m searching for lovely lands, lovely women and wealthy patrons!”
“Against contrary stars even the noblest hero strives in vain.” ‘Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens’: Against stupidity even gods fight in vain. (Schiller: From ‘Joan of Arc’.)
THE BELGIAN CENTRE FOR RESEARCH AMONG BELLES–LETTRES, MANOR OF SENEFFE. (In reality: The European Centre for Literary Translation, at Seneffe, Belgium)
AND YOU NEEDN’T BELIEVE IT

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A Poem of Brexit – July 2016

Timothy Adès

A Poem of Brexit – July 2016
How they brought the bad news from John of Gaunt’s birthplace (Ghent) to Charlemagne’s grave (Aix). I sprang to the soapbox, and Boris, and he; I twiddled, he twaddled, we swindled all three… The Bullingdon Races I went to the polling station on the twenty-third of June, Eighteen hundred and sixty-two, on a summer’s afternoon: The Bullingdon Boys have trashed us all, they called a referendum, We’ve made our bed, and Europe’s dead, and so’s the United Kingdom. Oh me lads, ye shud a’ seen us gannin’, Passin’ the foaks upon the road just as they wor stannin’; Lots o’ lads an’ lasses there, all wi’ smiling faces, Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races. Look at the people of Sunderland, they voted two to one: ‘The Polish squads will take our jobs, it says so in the Sun!’ Howay the canny Japanese in charge of Nissan Motors: The Rising Sun won’t rise for long, to feed the Geordie voters. [Will there be deals for all the wheels, the Hondas and Toyotas?] [The fishermen, unfortunately, won’t escape the quotas.] O utinam sodales hoc vidissent! praeterivimus omnes in via velut stetissent! juvenesque virginesque ore subridenti, omnibus in motoribus, Equiriis intenti! Parts of Cornwall, Pottery Town, the famous Valleys of Wales! They’re all awash with Europe’s cash, it ought to have turned the scales. Own goal! own goal! Take back control! The barmy slogan caught on: Ere set of sun, two brickworks gone, in Accrington and Claughton. Ô les gars! Vous auriez dû nous voir! Les gens comme immobiles, là-bas sur le trottoir: Les gars avec les filles, sourires aux visages, Les potes vont aux votes, gare aux grands carambolages! ‘The harlot’s cry from street to street,’ as William Blake predicted, ‘Shall weave old England’s winding-sheet.’ Bad luck, the self-evicted! What’s black and white and dirty-faced? The gutter press’s pages: The Power that’s irresponsible, the Harlot down the ages. Oh me lads, ye shud a’ seen us gannin’, etc. Austerity, charity food banks, and Bullingdon George’s gambles, Disparity and dishonesty, chancy chancellor’s omnishambles! No funds for the environment, no go the global warming, Kill off the solar industries and blight the country’s farming. Ach, die Burschen! Was war das zu sehen! Wir fahren an die Leut’ vorbei, da scheint’s, als ob sie stehen! So viele Burschen, viele Mädchen, alle Gesichter lachten, Zur Wonnestund’, mit keinem Grund, das Unglück zu verachten! What were the lies, the porky pies, that mesmerised the nation? The hordes of Brussels Bureaucrats, the Turkish Occupation? The billion pounds to heal the sick, disgraceful fabrication, The now-you-see-it-now-you-don't, the prestidigitation! Oh me lads, ye shud a’ seen us gannin’, etc. At first it was the grandest dream and it was so exciting: Half Europe had agreed at last to put an end to fighting. Came years of rubbishing in the Press, the spooks, the faceless funders: Cameron, Anthony Eden, Blair! the grand historic blunders. Oh me lads, ye shud a’ seen us gannin’, etc. Where was the Labour leader? Where was anyone from Labour? Where was the solidarity and where the Love Your Neighbour? Some Britons come with turbans, some with scarves around their faces: ‘No immigrants, no migrants, no agreements!’ cry the racists. Oh me lads, ye shud a’ seen us gannin’, etc. The gaps between the North and South and rich and poor have widened: The pensions and the pounds recede, so take away our Trident!  Unpick the years of careful work, as niceties turn to nasties: The health, the wealth, the Europol, the Stilton and the pasties. Oh me lads, ye shud a’ seen us gannin’, etc. Was it the northern working class? The southern comfort-zoners? The dwellers in the tenements, the pampered private owners? Unpick the years of careful work, replace it with disorder: The work of Hume, Ahern, and Blair: the peaceful Irish border! Oh me lads, ye shud a’ seen us gannin’, etc. Who’s going to pick the English fruit, and leave at end of season? Who’s even going to grow it now, with no commercial reason? Reject the grants, the bursaries, reject the friendly payments, Put lots of people out of work and tyrannise the claimants. ¡Ay, los compadres, que vernos deberían! Pasábamos a la gente como si no se moverían. Los chicos y chiquitas y las caras radiantes, a ver el espectáculo de bravos cabalgantes!

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London Olympic Lipograms (LOL) and Paralypograms - 2012

Timothy Adès

London Olympic Lipograms (LOL) and Paralypograms - 2012
The Olympics! Eunoia! Euphoria! So I’ll Raise three for Seb Coe and three more for Tess Jowell. The Olympics came back! Lay it on with a trowel! Praise our teams past and present, with *only one vowel*. THE ELDERS Mary Peters pentathlon 1972, gold Jim Peters marathon, Empire Games 1954, Helsinki 1952 Remember the Peterses! She’s DBE, HE teetered, fell helpless: we freeze, bend the knee. marathon Yes the Greeks v the Medes: there were helmets, BC. Peters led the event: needs the merest few metres, he enters the end-stretch, he trembles, reels, teeters... legs, knees, feet, bent, went. Peters, Essex, GB. shot put SHE threw the pent sphere, threw her levellest best, perfected her strength, she exceeded the rest. Northern Ireland Where she dwells, the demesnes seem the greenest: the west, where the verses were Erse, ere the gems were recessed. Daley Thompson, decathlon, golds 1980 & 1984 Ten events! Répétés! He’s been deemed the extreme, ‘New Jesse’, the legend, the endless esteem. Coe & Ovett, middle distance 1980-84 Seb v Steve: MD metres, then DCCC: they needed the needle! Neck v neck, knee v knee. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, paralympics 1988-2004: eleven golds She’s the wheel-perfect peeress, she’s Welsh: she herself swept eleven. Resplendent! She’ll strengthen her shelf. Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent, and Chris Hoy knighted... They kneel, feel the steel where the necks meet the pecs. ...by The Queen She herself’s the best ever! Next best, ‘G: Sext: Rex’. Harold Abrahams (gold), Eric Liddell (gold), Paris 1924 cent mètres The pretenders were fleet, even fleeter the Jew; 400 mètres ‘E’ revered the Redeemer: he’s blest. Well, he knew! Lord Burleigh, 400m hurdles 1928, gold He crested the fences, next Exeter peer: ‘Three cheers!’ yelled the brewers. ‘We’ll fetch the best beer!’ THE PRESENT (2012) Tennis: Andy Murray: gold, silver. Laura Robson: silver He served, he deserved, he reversed the regrets, cheeked the Federer gent, swept the needed three sets. Next, he helped the sweet belter. They bettered the bets! Paralympic Tennis: a player unbeaten anywhere since 2003 The wheel-trestled Lenglen, the best we’ll see here, the peerless, the evergreen Esther Vergeer. Heptathlon: Jessica Ennis: gold Jess, the seven-eventer, we’ve seen her excel. Gymnastics Beth Tweddle wheeled steeper, went excellent well; bronze the men get three cheers, they exceed the expected! bronze 1500 metres (not) Steph Twell wrecked her leg: her, they never selected: yet she keeps effervescent, she’s never dejected: she’s better. Keep well, then! Remember Steph Twell. Triathlon: Alistair & Jonny Brownlee (gold & bronze), Helen Jenkins (fifth) They’ve three speeds: the wetness, the wheels, then the street: they bend stretch flex wrestle, fettle legs knees heels feet. they shed the wet ’prene, they’re renewed, they’re well-dressed. Sleek speed, the wee breeks, the revered GB vest! Long jump: Greg Rutherford: gold Seven metres, twelve-tenths were the length he excessed, the extent he exceeded: he flew, legs extended: he stretched! Then they metered the dent where he ended. Red Greg’s Bletchley-bred. Yeeesss! Red Greg led the rest. Long jump: Shara Proctor from Anguilla (many medals, not Olympic) She flew seven metres, then settled her heel. She’s the Elver, she’s dwelled where the emblem’s the Eel. Cycling: Victoria Pendleton: gold, silver Well, the ped’llers were med’llers, we depended, pell-mell: she’s the Empress, she wended! she went! Yes, we’d yell: her heels sped the wheels, let her excellence tell. Were her knee-flexes fevered? Cheers freshened her fever! Canoe: Ed McKeever: gold Ed (the Keel-less) McKeever swept the wet-strength speed-lever! Sailing: Ben Ainslie: gold Ben sets the breeze-wheedlers, lets the vent-vessels swell! Cycling road race: women: Liz Armitstead, silver Three ped’llers were med’llers, three wheelers sped free, (The rest were left helpless!) – they led, then extended, They stretched, the legs vehement, knees ever bended, The feet ever stressed: never rested, the three. Where the Green Belt meets Esher they wrestled, they revelled, They went where the Wey wends, flew fleetest, pressed best: Red deer never fleeter, wet streets never slewed them, They descended the metres, retrenched the green crest. Rowing: fours: gold Pete Reed, MBE: Defence tenners well spent: Three henchmen, the Henley bench-presses event. Eggs, shreds, eggs, beef, eggs: there’s the brekker he gets; Bench presses, leg presses, terse rests between sets. There’s three feller-crewmen. They’ve tested, he blew, men: biggest lungs ever: They’ve checked, they detect MCLX c.c.! 1,168 c.c. He exceeds even me, he’s ten tens percent deeper, They’ve never seen steeper! Pete Reed, MBE. Lawrence Clarke, 110m hurdles: fourth (heir to old baronetcy) The well-heeled leg extended, the chest between the knees: the presence never ended speeds yet the well-descended. Ye spectres! …Where were these? (Respect the gentle breed: less redness, when they bleed.) ...and A... Nicola Adams, boxing, 50kg, gold What a match, what a war, what a lass, what a day! Adams spars fast as Farr and has hands fast as Clay, - and Clay was a champ (wasn’t that at Atlanta? was Adams’s avatar fast Atalanta?) CanCan can’t abash Adams, champ CanCan (Cathay). All stand and clap Adams, call Adams! ya basha! Natasha Jonas Grand standards! (and that was a champ’s match, Natasha!) fourth CanCan’s back whacks that canvas! Cart CanCan away! What a star! Award Adams an astral Class A. Mo Farah 10,000m & 5,000m, two golds Farah ran fast, Farah ran far: at last, a star... coach a man, a plan, A. Salazar! All that gang sang: vast array, at hand, and far, far away: Farah’s fans afar. Luke Campbell, boxing, gold a bantam’s award: a class A star that had drawn Kanat, a Kazakh (Kazakhstan) and had a last hard blast at a Cavan man. Cycling: Bradley Wiggins gold, Mark Cavendish, Ian Stannard, Chris Froome bronze, David Millar What stars! Cav (a Manxman), Stannard and gang, and hard man Brad, hard tarmacadam man, man hard as adamant! – Brad, Mann am Fahrrad, flatpack swagman, man on bike Frank-land’s a grandstand that chants ‘Sans blag, man’, no kidding flat back, calf-stack, fastback hat, all that Mall and that Standard flag: a ragtag gang lags, can’t play tag. ...and Brad rang that sacral clang. he sounded a bell Anthony Joshua boxing, superheavyweight, gold A.J. star, class A, what a dab dab hand, had a jab jab jab at a vast man-mast, a man that had a yardarm spar and a vast hand-span: a manjack vast as Kazakhstan. Jon-Allan Butterworth, paralympic cycling, three silvers J.-Allan, RAF man, a man-at-arms at war, lay at Bagrám, at Afghan, at Afghan lands afar. A blast attack at Basra at Shatt-al-Arab’s strand attacks an RAF man and blasts away a hand. Natasha Baker on Cabral, paralympic equestrian, two golds Natasha, stalwart, calm and small, Natasha sat athwart Cabral, a gallant lass that can sashay avant, aback, aslant: (Cabral, dark bay!) and drank that chant: “Natasha, star! Cabral, stand tall!” and black mascara ran. Ellie Simmonds, paralympic swimming: 400m freestyle, 200m medley, & relay: two golds, silver, bronze A Walsall lass, small, small, swam a grand, grand crawl. Fans swarm and mass, stand and bawl! And swam all ways, fast blast! had a ball. Grand days! Alison Williamson, archery, at her sixth Olympics Alison, an archer, already at an astonishing age anticipated and also attended Atlanta, and attended again at Athens, achieving an award, an ancient amalgam, and Australia, and again, and again! - always advancing an arm and accurately aiming arrows. ... it is I... Tom Daley bronze High Diving British big bird (think: fishing! his instinct, his big skill, sights his fish, flings his bill, wins his fill) brings it, wings it, finishing third with skin-tight timing, thrilling skill, springing in swimming's limpid rill. High fiving! ...on to O... Cycling: Laura Trott, Sir Chris Hoy Trott’s from Bolton, Hoy’s Scots. Two gongs of gold, now, hotshot Trott’s. Hoy got two, too. Hoy’s got lots! Paralympic 100m, 200m wheels: Hannah Cockroft two golds ‘Whooosh! Gold for Cockroft’ – North Yorks Post (not) Cockroft’s from Yorks, from old wool towns, not North Yorks Moors, nor York, nor Wolds. Now, yon’s no robot! Worth two crowns, own motors zoom to scoop two golds. * Rhyme for a day of two golds and two medals in judo New kudos, the new medal-message: intone cante jondo! Two judos, Dujardin wins dressage, Jade Jones wins taekwondo! * JK’s Consonantal Straight Eleven A British Cyclist Defeats Everyone For Gold. Hurrah! It’s Jason Kenny! ...Envoi... So many more names, and wonders, I can’t record: Winning, or taking part, is its own reward… That’s all – I have dared, with too limp an excuse, To scrawl in the hall of Olympian Zeus.

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