Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fer Blossom

Griffiths undertakes two delicate tasks at once: writing an epitaph for a dead animal, and writing in dialect. I thought the result was highly successful, but I'm probably less picky than other readers who are more familiar with the target dialect. I don't know whether she's getting it right, since I've got nothing to compare it to.

I'm a sucker for animal poems, and there were a couple of little details here that I especially loved. There's the picture of the pig standing nose-to-nose with the sows and grunting after breeding (like a little conversation), his fondness for tummy rubs and snout rubs, and the fact that one of his favourite treats is "Meltasers". (In the US, Malteasers are called "Malted Milk Balls". They are totally delicious. Probably not good for pigs, but I love the idea of the soft-hearted farmer sneaking them to the pig anyway.)

As usual, you don't have to squint to hard to see Griffiths' delight in the sounds of words. Particularly lovely turns of phrase include "nipped off en a nep", "hautopsied end cinerated", and "don't metter a smutter". There's also a nice hidden rhyme between the line ending on "summack" in S1, and the line ending on "stummack" in S2. Those things don't rhyme for me, but I like the fact that they rhyme for somebody. The poem ends alliteratively, on "barrel-bottom boar".

No comments:

Post a Comment