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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 10:54 am 
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Thank you TheNightingale and DrDark!


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 4:36 pm 
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DrDark wrote:
Can someone do a transcription?


I'll try later, once I have wine : )


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 9:09 pm 
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OK, here's an attempt.

Ira on the Nether-Edge

March will sarch (1),
April will try
May’ll tell if you’ll live or die (2)

Ravished ‘neath the milky moon,
Barefoot wi’ th’silven (3)
‘owling to a [……..]’s tune,
Sheathed in veils of evemen. (4)
Buds a’break (5) and milky seeps
Heady in the meadows;
Chalky children on the steep,
Baskets full o’ shadows.
Gapmouth (6) spins his rattle song,
air’s an upturned ocean;
the swift’s an axe hurled in the gloam
splits the riddle (7) open.
Quarterevil (8) takes a wife,
chilver (9) meets her maker,
as the grindstone turns the knife
o’er eleven acres:
now it looks, it almost sounds,
the world circles wider,
with the silence upside-down,
horse atop the rider;
femboys in the forest (10)
find figs of foul freedom,
where the old you left behind
falls through never eeden. (11)
So some must watch while some must sleep -
so runs the world’s way -
a not-girl’s [……] at the stake
a-births the end o' May. (12)

A Child’s Question

Starling swarms will soon be lorn, (13)
rooks tell stories ‘cross the corn,
goocoo (14) soon will ‘is leave make,
swifts abandon Autumn’s ache.
What says dunnock, drush (15) or dove?
Love me tender, tender love?
Hear the grinding wheelbird (16) grieve -
grief unknits my ravelled sleeve -
death of summer, death of play,
waxing night and dwindling day -
help me, dunnock, drush and dove:
love me tender, tender love.

1. sarch=search
2. This is a weather rhyme – a bit like ‘Roundabout, roundabout, Maggoty pie’ starts the poem Maggoty
3. i.e. with themselves or yourself
4. evemen=evening
5. i.e. plants are budding
6. Gapmouth=nightjar
7. A riddle is a sieve used for separating seed from chaff but why a swift should split that I don’t know. Perhaps it has another meaning.
8. quarterevil=a sheep disease
9. chilver=female lamb
10. I can’t quite believe this is what it says, but it does seem quite clear
11. Eeden=heeding, so, ‘you suffer consequences through never paying attention’. But it could be Eden, as in the Garden of Eden - 'Never-Eden'
12. i.e. gives birth to the end of May
13. lorn=lost
14. goocoo=cuckoo
15. drush=thrush
16. wheelbird=nightjar

There seems to be a theme of discovering sexual ambiguity in the first poem, concluding in the 'not-girl' giving birth to the end of Spring. When they're published you can see how wrong I was! Obviously there are a couple of words I can't make out, where she just isn't clear enough and there's nothing in William Barnes's 1886 Glossary of the Dorset Dialect that matches. I wonder whether the 'Ira' character is a timeless observer: in Hebrew it means 'watchful'.

I feel the simple structure, the firm rhymes and nature-references make these pieces really powerful. The video is completely, utterly charming, although if you don't know who PJ is she'll come across as bonkers. Thank you, hugely, for sharing it. It is also, I have to point out, disarmingly reminiscent of the dream I had and recorded here http://www.thegardenforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2350&p=26095 four years ago ...


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 5:38 am 
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Excellent work AineteEkaterini! Thank you.

To me, this part is a gut punch.

"grief unknits my ravelled sleeve -
death of summer, death of play,
waxing night and dwindling day -
help me, dunnock, drush and dove:
love me tender, tender love."

The impact of the words themselves without any musical distractions makes me think Polly has hit her poetic stride.

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JelqPcoaAB8"


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 3:19 pm 
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Thank you very much, AineteEkaterini, I really appreciate the transcription and the footnotes! Now let me get my bird glossary...

The "femboys (femme boys?) in the forest find figs of foul freedom" line jumped out to me as well; I was sure I misheard it so I'm glad I'm not the only one hearing it that way.

She does come across a bit bonkers but I really enjoy this mystifying, witchy vibe she's giving off. Such a charismatic performer, even when cosplaying as a weird lady talking to herself in the forest.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 8:01 pm 
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A correction: I thought the first word in the third line of 'Ira' was owlin' - that is, 'howling' without the 'h'; but in fact I think it's owlen, as there is a Dorset word owl, meaning 'rambling about at night' - which is exactly what Polly is doing!


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