Nation on the March

Nation on the March
Nation on the March

Sep 26, 2011

Two Poets, Two Poems, Two Continents... one common target..Husband!

Panna Naik (born 1933)  and Judith Viorst ( born 1931) – are two distinguished, octogenarian  lady writer/poets  from two different continents (but now living in one)  and both have written (at least) one poem each on the same subject: how do we in the family / society keep escalating our demands  from  our womenfolk in terms of gearing  up and rising to our expectations , till it culminates into a heart-wringing desperate cry  !

First,  Judith Viorst‘s poem titled  “Self-Improvement Program.”

I’ve finished six pillows in Needlepoint,
And I’m reading Jane Austen and Kant,
And I’m up to the pork with black beans in Advanced Chinese Cooking.
I don’t have to struggle to find myselfPage 6
For I already know what I want.
I want to be healthy and wise and extremely good-looking.
I’m learning new glazes in Pottery Class,
And I’m playing new chords in Guitar,
And in Yoga I’m starting to master the lotus position.
I don’t have to ponder priorities
For I already know what they are;
To be good looking, healthy, and wise.
And adored in addition.
I’m improving my serve with a tennis pro,
And I’m practicing verb forms in Greek,
And in Primal Scream Therapy all my frustrations are vented.
I don’t have to ask what I’m searching for
Since I already know that I seek
To be good-looking, healthy, and wise.
And adored.
And contented.
I’ve bloomed in Organic Gardening,
And in dance I have tightened my thighs,
And in Consciousness Raising there’s no one around who can top me.
And I’m working all day and I’m working all night
To be good-looking, healthy, and wise.
And adored.
And contented.
And brave.
And well-read.
And a marvelous hostess,
And bilingual,
Won’t someone please stop me?

Now Panna Naik (

She goes one step further in her poem dares the people around her and declares her independence and says:

I do not wish to be a emotional cuckoo  and keep singing in someone’s  intellectual cage, speak as they wish me to and dance like a serpent when a flute is played before me. I have wings and sky of my own.

I am my own master and then why need I be afraid of some one.

I do not wish to say ‘yes, yes’ and keep accommodating everyone around me, by speaking, walking, dressing, sleeping, socializing, doing everything everything  in exact  measure that has been cut out for me. I do not wish to be a cuckoo  and keep singing in someone’s  cage.

The poem ( in Gujarati) read thus:

Both the poets have excellently expressed their  sensitivity towards the  systematic enslavement of women in the society  under one  guise or the other. May be it is not true for all places and all times but it is most certainly true for several places even today.

As if to help us end this post on a lighter note, the same Judith Viorst has said elsewhere : When he is late for dinner and I know he must be either having an affair or lying dead in the street, I always hope he's dead.”  

And would she so easily let go her man? No way.  Judith writes elsewhere:  I could be such a wonderful wife to another wife's husband.

Perhaps both the lady poets can have a good laugh now!

And finally, time for one and all to chuckle to make the score : Love All!

Englsih Pronunciation - a very pleasant - but pure chaos!

A poem about English pronunciation.

“The Chaos” is a poetically explained , well-known  versified catalogue of  irregularities of English spelling and pronunciation, written by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), also known under the pseudonym Charivarius. He was a dutch observer of English. It first appeared in an appendix to the author’s 1920 textbook "Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen." Ironically, while the pronunciation of his own surname is not obvious, he is best known in the English-speaking world for this poem.

(Recommended for Reading it Aloud):

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. 
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.) 
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; 
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet, 
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer. 
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour. 
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger, 
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury. 
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual. 
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late. 
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor. 
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,  
 Dandelion and battalion. 
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.  
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere. 
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits? 
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!! 

Let an atheist remain an atheist..

Are you planning to convert some one who does not believe in God ?  

Osho strongly advises “Don’t” . 

We know Mulla Nasrudin as the most witty, inimitable character. But Osho victimizes him here:

A rich farmer had been trying desperately to marry off his daughters. One day he met Mulla Nasrudin.

”I have several daughters,” the farmer told the Mulla. ”I would like to see them comfortably fixed. And I will say this, they won’t go to their husbands without a little bit in the bank, either. The youngest one is twenty-three and she will take Rupees 25,000 with her. The next one is thirty-two, and she will take Rupees 50,000 with her. Another is forty-three and she will take Rupees 75,000 with her.”

”That’s interesting,” said Nasrudin. ”I was just wondering if you have one about fifty years old.

Mulla Nasrudin’s family was upset because the girl he was planning to marry was an atheist. ”We’ll not have you marrying an atheist,” his mother said.

”What can I do? I love her,” the young Nasrudin said.

”Well,” said his mother, ”if she loves you, she will do anything you ask. You should talk religion to
her. If you are persistent, you can win her over.”

Several weeks went by, then one morning at breakfast the young Mulla seemed absolutely brokenhearted.
”What’s the matter?” his mother asked. ”I thought you were making such good progress in your talks
about religion to your young girlfriend.”

”That’s the trouble,” said Nasruddin. "I overdid it.
Last night she told me she was so convinced that she is going to study to be a NUN.