Thursday, January 29, 2009

Translating "Nothing"; Hounds online; cummings on blogging

(photo: e.e. cummings)



The recent post on "What Should I Say [When I Have Nothing to Say]" produced comments better than the post, as hard as that may be to comprehend. The comments deserve their own post.

A blogging colleague, Rethilbe, who happens to like poetry as much as I and who blogs on Poefrika (please check out the site), had this to write:

[About how to translate/pronounce "nothing" in other languages] "/Heetchee/ in farsi and /Leet-aw/ in Sesotho, my mother tongue. In French? "Rien", pronounced /Ree-young/"

[I knew the French one but not the others. I think I prefer "Heetchee" to "Nothing," and I know I prefer "Leet-aw" to "Nothing." Now when people ask me what I'm doing as a way of suggesting I should stop doing it, I think I'll answer, "Leet-aw; how about you, sir [or madame]?'

"Frost might have enjoyed this, and would have perhaps told us about a man who blogged his way because blogging was what he was all about, far into the reaches of his youth.
Cummings might have insisted that glee was a glad blog."

["A glee was a glad blog": how great is that?]

"I'd have loved to have heard Plath on this one. She'd have found some catastrophe linked to blogging:
Screen, you do not seem to understand the lifting of my skin."

[or "Screen, you will not do, Pixelated You."]

"lol. But we unfortunately can't hear these voices anew.
"

[But Rethilbe has helped us hear the improvised echoes.}

Another commenter (as opposed to commentator, which is someone who talks a lot about nothing on television), notes that Full Cry, the magazine all about "coon hounds" to which my father subscribed [Until I was about 9, I thought all families subscribed to it, kind of like TV Guide or Life magazine], now has a howling web presence. The commenter, from the great and icy upper Midwest, writes,

"Full Cry is still going strong:

http://www.treehound.com/html/fullcry.html

Also, this:
http://www.coondawgs.com/

And if you're some kind of goddamn flatlander:
http://urbancoonies.blogspot.com/"

I realize these links may not appeal to a massive percentage of the population, but be careful: once your interest in hunting-dogs of this kind is piqued, you find yourself becoming more and more interested, and pretty soon, you're out in the woods, it's past midnight, the hounds are up to no good, you're freezing and waving a flashlight around, and you're interpreting the different howls, barks, and yelps that are filling the air.

A recent student of mine had an internship with a dog-related publications. She and I were trying to remember the names of hound-breeds that are officially "coon hounds."

I think they are Black and Tan, Plot, Redbone, Blue Tick, and English, but I could be wrong. They tend not to be large dogs, probably because the have to be quick, fast, and durable. They are all very excitable but not, I would say, temperamental. A Redbone has a gorgeous rust-colored, very short-haired coat. The Black and Tan is pretty much self-describing, although there is more black than tan. A shiny coat.

Blue Ticks are black and white, or white with a lot of black spots and mottling, except the black really is almost blue. Plot hounds migh well be the smallest of the breeds and are dark brown or black. The ones my father owned seemed much more composed than their hound-colleagues. They seemed to take a cool professional attitude toward hunting.

Anyway, here's a shout out and a howl out to two commenters. [Someone just asked me what I'm doing. "Leet-aw," I responded. "Why do you ask?']
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