Thursday, 11 September 2008

More rain - nothing but the rain - and MARK GRANIER

I want to pinch a couple of pieces from the comments boxes and put them on display before they vanish. Some lovely things on rain, and I welcome more. Not so much the actual rain, of course, more the observations, notes and poems.

from The Plump

Writing 100 lines is the perfect metaphor for English rain - the earth groans 'oh no not more. What am I going to do with it all'? But the severe schoolmasterly clouds insist on the relentlessness of the task. Everything is sodden, the plants are lush green through binge drinking.

I, too, like to stand outside in Greek rain, especially in the summer. There the earth sighs in gratitude and the plants have the perky, bright green of the moderate continental drinker. The only drawback is that the local electricity sub-stations are overcome with shock and plunge us into darkness at the hint of a storm.

Tywydd Mawr

Mae'na sŵn o'm mewn i sydd i'w glywed
yn glawio'n dragywydd,
a lliw'r diawl ym mhyllau'r dydd,
lliw gwaed yr holl gawodydd.

(Dunno what it means or who it's from, do know it's in Welsh and that it's an englyn [All together now - "There'll always be an Englyn..."]. George Szirtes PLC is a culturally diverse site.)

3 & 4
Two from Mark Granier, of whom another in NOTES

Plain Song

An uncalled-for
refrain –
curtain-call –

the tall
swish rain.


Only one figure
moves on the dark mountain, a
twist of rain-bright road.

from Three For the Road (The Sky Road, 2007)

Now turn to Notes...


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Between British weather and American obsession with the elections, one would pine for ... Madagascar? Hebrides? Cape Verde?

Two months more and it will pass.

George S said...

It never passes, Snoop. Do you know the Baudelaire poem that begins, in Robert Lowell's translation: I am king of a rainy country...?

I mean, even when it's not raining, it's raining really, or has just rained or is about to rain.

The first joke I came across as a child learning English - it was in Essential English for Foreigners 2 - was a cartoon. A waiter in a restaurant is looking through the window renarking, "It looks like rain, sir." The customer looks up from his plate of soup and comments, "It tastes like rain too."

It certainly taught me a lesson. All the more so for it being true.

Kelly said...

As best as I can make out:

Tywydd = weather; Mawr = great [as in big or grand]

Swn = sound; Mewn = in (a); Glywed (mutation of "clywed") = to hear

Yn = in; Glawio = rain; Dragywydd (mutation of Tragywydd) = everlasting, eternal

Lliw = color; Diawl = devil

Yr = the; Holl = whole; Gawodydd (mutation/variant of "cawod") = shower

Not complete by any means, but it's something. I'm in Wales, get me out of here.

The Plump said...

It's still pissing down in Hull.

George S said...

Pissing down in Norfolk too, Peter. One wet week.

Anonymous said...

Hi George

A rough translation of the Welsh poem is:

Foul weather

Within me there’s a drone to be heard
raining eternally,
and the colour of hell in the days pits
colour of blood from all the downpours.

Hope this helps. Full of typical Celtic understatement. We Welsh aren't miserable due to the landscape or the rain, though - and nor would I be anxious to escape Wales like your earlier correspondent - it's just our temperament!