On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

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David
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On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by David » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:43 pm

I comb this unsubstantial book of words -
the few that have been rescued from the fire -
in search of rarities, for beasts and birds
and common terms of farmhouse, barn and byre,
with little luck. How many lexicons
have vanished with these places and their stones.

A few peep out ...
"a field with many corners"
"a griskin" (I don't know)
"standing corn"
"an incestuous marriage"
the famous "small imperfect swarm of bees"

Poor gleaning. Where is the word for the sweet bouquet
of a midden simmering on a summer's day,
the first rain after a period of drought
or the gap in a hedge where a vagrant sheep got out?
Gone is the term for a cottage of ill fame,
and even the names for the things one must not name.

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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by JamesM » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:05 pm

Hello there
I'm still getting to grips with the format and meaning- especially the middle section but what popped out immediately was 'period'- would 'spell' or 'long spell' not be a better fit?
I'll return.
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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by Macavity » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:48 am

How many lexicons
have vanished with these places and their stones.
A question mark? Like how language was 'written' in the 'people'.
a field with many corners
Like that one. Of course, such definitions make one want to scratch that itch - the one word for the many used in translation, the specific relating to the culture/life. Had to search for - looan, imperfect swarm of bees (http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/Manx/mx30.html)

best

mac

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JJWilliamson
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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:43 am

Hi, David

I found "pork chop" for 'griskin', but struggled with the rest.

I really enjoyed the whimsical aspects of this poem and particularly liked the rhymes and rhythms.
The meter in S1 is flawless iambic pentameter, although some purists might mention the rhyme and meter of L's 5 & 6.
It could be argued that you have four stresses in L5. It's the 'icons' foot. So you close on the feminine 'icons' and rhyme it
with the masculine stones. I like the near rhyme and personally couldn't give two hoots about the fem masc thing, but thought
I'd mention it, just in case you thought I'd lost the plot. I'm open to contradiction, though.

S3 is delightful and you've varied the meter considerably, but to no detrimental effect. It depends, I suppose, how you view the
substitutions. I thought it flowed very nicely but it's such a subjective area at times. I see you upped the ante on the rhymes.

Overall, I thought this was one to savour.

Best

JJ
David wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:43 pm
I comb this unsubstantial book of words -
the few that have been rescued from the fire -
in search of rarities, for beasts and birds
and common terms of farmhouse, barn and byre,
with little luck. How many lexicons ...fem close followed by a masc. Minor point and barely noticeable.
have vanished with these places and their stones.

A few peep out ...
"a field with many corners"
"a griskin" (I don't know)
"standing corn"
"an incestuous marriage"
the famous "small imperfect swarm of bees" ...Loved this section. I'd like it even more if the words accompanied their definitions. Maybe that's part of the charm.

Poor gleaning. Where is the word for the sweet bouquet
of a midden simmering on a summer's day,
the first rain after a period of drought
or the gap in a hedge where a vagrant sheep got out?
Gone is the term for a cottage of ill fame,
and even the names for the things one must not name. ...Tough to crit this stanza. very enjoyable.
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by JamesM » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:09 am

If you think I'm going to look up those words you are away in the head you lazy Manx git!!!

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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:34 am

To me,it's a beautiful song,David,
love and lament - the perfect combination.

There's no need to see the native words (although a glossary might enhance the melody,..perhaps)

Obviously a lot of care has gone into this labour of love.

Even a steaming midden can become a thing of beauty,in the right ..err gloves :)

Brilliant
Geoff
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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:21 pm

.
Hi David.

Very enjoyable read.


S1 - Perplexed by the use of 'unsubstantial' - "Having little or no solidity, reality, or factual basis."
(L4) maybe
those common terms for ... ?
And a period after 'byre'? Give 'with little luck' a bit more emphasis?
After 'fire', 'vanished' seems rather weak.

S2 - I think, having described it as a lexicon, it's a bit mean to leave the Manks words out.
And perhaps,
"an incestuous marriage"
famously, the "small imperfect swarm of bees"
?

S3 - 'period' seems rather flat (especially after the midden). Could the
final line start
and gone are the ...?



Regards, Not


.
Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by JamesM » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:53 pm

Back again David,
I enjoyed the overall sentiment and cleverness of this but have a couple of questions.
What fire?
What names we must not name?
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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by Elphin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:19 pm

Very nice.... has its own sense of place which is important for me at least.

Love the steaming midden ... evocative... and the definitions. Would the Manx words be useful? Perhaps, but not a big issue for me as it’s enogh to know that there are words for incestuous marriage etc.

Quibbles, I am not sure what to take from the description of the book as unsubstantial. When I google it, it seems anything but. Also saved from the fire, not sure what I should take from that. But they are quibbles only.

And did I mention the rhymes and the beat, very effective.

Elph

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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by David » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:43 pm

JamesM wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:05 pm
I'm still getting to grips with the format and meaning- especially the middle section but what popped out immediately was 'period'- would 'spell' or 'long spell' not be a better fit?
A very good thought, James. I think it would. Or maybe "season"?
Macavity wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:48 am
How many lexicons
have vanished with these places and their stones.
A question mark?
Or is it an exclamation? Tricky bit of grammar.

I like the field with many corners too. I think (memory is so uncertain these days) that I remember my granny telling me about some even older relation who had got lost in a field one night (possibly on the way back from the pub), just couldn't find his way out of it, and claimed the next day that he had been "fairy-led" - a lovely term which I haven't found again since, which suggests to me that my memory may have made it up. Still, I bet that field had many corners.

Very pleased you enjoyed it, JJ. And I am always impressed by your detailed knowledge of prosody (is that the word?), but even more by your refusal to get too hung up about it. It's a winning combination.
JamesM wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:09 am
If you think I'm going to look up those words you are away in the head you lazy Manx git!!!
Ha! Fair comment. Good luck finding the dictionary anyway.

Thank you Geoff. I'm not sure the native words - Manx is a remarkably unlovely language, written down, due to it having been first written down almost phonetically - would help. It has none of the lovely superfluities of written Irish. (I assume, in my ignorance, that a lot of those vowels are superfluous. I might be wrong!)

Yep, keep an eye on those steaming middens - especially the ones that have a thin layer of crust on them, like a Devil's crème brûlée.

Thanks, Not. Yes, strictly speaking "unsubstantial" is wrong - just a typo for "insubstantial", actually - but someone somewhere else came up with a nice little justification for it. I'll try to dig that up. But yes, really it's wrong.

As I said to Geoff, I don't think the words themselves will help. Might even be a distraction. We deplore distractions.

James has already nailed me on "period".

And what, James, have you nailed me again? We'll see. Okay, "the fire" is supposed to stand for the process by which words (and other things) are lost. It's not a specific local fire that you don't know about. And with the names we must not name I'm thinking about the old euphemisms - like The Kindly Ones, in Greek, for The Furies - for things which should not be named. I think it works, but I don't insist (of course) that you should.

And thank you Elph. I think I've addressed the Manx, and "unsubstantial", and the fire above. I hope I have, anyway. Glad you like it.

Cheers all

David

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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by JamesM » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:08 pm

And Voldemort....ooppps, did I just name him? Unless I'm missing a common reference, the no naming is a bit vague. However, I do like the mystery of it, although it might distract.
The 'fire' also does infer/imply...can't be bothered looking up which it is..a concrete historical event.
'Season' would work, though I thought 'spell' more appropriately folksy to your theme. In any event, 'period' doesn't seem right.
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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:18 am

Hi,David
I think L6
How many lexicons
have vanished with these places and their stones.
-is a rhetorical question,therefore needs a "?" if one is being pedantic.
e.g
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die?...'
- however the question is being asked,primarily to yourself -you're not debating or accusing.Just musing.
Perhaps "have vanished with these places and their stones?.."

wrt "unsubstantial"
I was surprised to see "unsubstantial" and "insubstantial" listed as synonyms in some dictionaries.
I'd expected "unsubstantial" to be an archaic form (there are 2 examples in Shakespeare) but there is 1 example of "insubstantial"! Arguably all 3 carry slightly different ideas of "substance/weight".
But words/meanings change over time,anyway.
I'd stick with "unsubstantial" (or change altogether) -
It made me do a double-take,asking why not "insubstantial"? -
the answer was that you must be saying "insignificant size"? - YES,"insignificant importance - NO!",

wrt "fire"
- on reflection,this may suggest"Fahrenheit 451" or the Nazis,i.e. some kind of purge,to some.
If you only want to suggest discarding/clear-out/unvalued then perhaps
"the few that were rescued from the bonfire" ?
(although that may carry overtones of old Celtic festivals! :) )

Cheers
Geoff
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Re: On looking, again, into Kelly's Dictionary of Manks (1805)

Post by David » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:05 pm

Thanks Geoff. Very helpful on all counts.

Don't remind me of those old Celtic festivals! Dear oh dear oh dear.

Chears

David

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