French, or: Arabic

A ‘Bref Double’

I took French for seven years in school;
Now I remember very little of it.
As an adult, I studied Arabic -
Flushing what remained from my brain.

The brain can rust like any other tool;
That's something Papa liked to tell me.
"Practice if you want something to stick."
My seven years went down the drain.

French flotsam courses in a whirlpool;
Sometimes a scrap washes up ashore,
But too many sink like heavy bricks.
Clearly, I have but myself to blame.

Exercising tongues is the only rule,
Else we'll find they've faded oh so quick...

d’Verse – Go French with Bref Double

At d’Verse, writers were encouraged to pen poems in the ‘Bref Double’ form.

Bref Double?

  • A 14 line poem, consisting of 3 quatrains and a couplet;
  • No metric requirement, but all lines should be of similar lengths;
  • RHYME:
    • It is built up from three end rhymes (a, b, and c);
    • It also includes unrhymed lines (x);
    • Rhymes a and b are used once in each of the quatrains and in the couplet;
    • Rhymes c is used as end lines in each of the quatrains.
    • This would make these possible rhyme schemes:
      • axbc-axbc-axbc-ab
      • abxc-abxc-abxc-ab

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

71 thoughts on “French, or: Arabic”

  1. True! I took ONE year of Spanish (Espanol) so long ago, in High School – what do I remember? Alas, it makes me laugh and ashamed, all at the same time – over what I still remember, without thought, at all – the various parts of the language, the syntax, the phrases, and what I missed out on not recognizing as formal vs. everyday – local dialects vs. overall language acceptance – on how curse words and such from one language to another doesn’t always, exactly, translate the ‘intent’ of the speaker, across divides on this front or not – but – well, if ever, I find a way, to become a global citizen, really? My only starting quest on such stuff is learning how to say the various things in local language/dialect/cultural standards:

    Good Day: – Buenos Dias
    Good Night: – Buenos Noches (??)
    I speak/understand very little of your language: “[hmmm…] Mi hablo Espanol un pocito(?)
    My name is Tamrah: Mi (Te?) llamo es (esta?) Tamrah
    Yes: Si
    No: No
    Please: por favor
    Thank You: gracias
    You’re Welcome: de nada (it is nothing!)
    I like this food and this is what I love in my life – I like hamburgers, french fries and beer. I love my little black dog:
    Yo/Mi (??) quiero (a?) hamburgesas, e papas fritas, e cervesa and mi pocita negra perra (??)

    I often ask my global pen pals/bloggy buddies/colleagues in my industry, the following:

    If ever, I get to visit your community, can you tell me the local way to say:
    “Wish you well/Greetings”
    “Thank You”
    “You’re Welcome”
    “I’m lost”
    “I’m hungry”
    “I need help, please”
    “I like/love this”
    “I don’t understand this”

    😀 Alas, I learned over many tries of foreign to me languages, sign language, etc., that often? If I just lead with my heart, pay attention to body language/eyes of another and try, like a baby first born, to pay attention and confirm I understand?

    I manage to get along fine – and am grateful for those patient enough to ‘teach me’ – when I seized an in-person moment to try and meet a need, but also learn more – and yet, often, in ‘my world’ I dissapoint others in one language root or another – let me say “Si” or “Da” and joy lights up a face and a litany of words flow out and I am lost – and have to confess – I just got into the flow of their simple question and mistakenly signaled I understood /knew their language, when really, I did not –

    Sorry – but – well – I’m catching up on connections – communicating with others here I read, care about, struggle or think upon the same (what I heard!) topics – take care Dave – as always, thanks for your patience with me and my long comments – 😀

    Practice makes perfect – you have nailed short, succinct posts – me? I’m still in novella form trying to convey my empathy, sympathy, challenges on same fronts – sigh – – 😀

    1. … If I just lead with my heart, pay attention to body language/eyes of another and try, like a baby first born, to pay attention and confirm I understand?

      I manage to get along fine…

      I’m totally with you, T. J. – this is spot on.


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