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Teach Me the Million Things You Know

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  • Teach Me the Million Things You Know

    Teach me the million things you know,
    The phrases populaires and the secret mots.
    Sing les chansons lovers sing in bateaux,
    Or si plus sérieux, name les poissons below.

    Tell me the name of your native land-
    Is it ‘Libon’ ou ‘Libin’ ou ‘Liban’?
    Et combien cèdres, cent quatre-vingt?
    I think I’m beginning to understand...

    What kinds of shows do you watch on T.V.-
    “So You Think You Can Dance” ou le film “Amélie”?
    And when it’s turned off, what do you étudie-
    Pétrole ou l’histoire ou la géologie?

    Okay, so you’re brilliant, and I’m fairly new
    To la langue of les gaules et les rois, et, well, you,
    So I’ll just have to study for a petit plus,
    Then I could- le conditionnel! Mon dieu!

    Sometimes le français just doesn’t seem fair.
    Masculin? Féminin? Why should I even care?
    But you patiently tend to my pauvre grammaire
    As your intelligence makes me turn shades of verts.

    Peut-être our work is completely in vain,
    And your world is trop grande for my trop petit brain,
    But if, by some chance, you say I’m fantastique,
    Then next week we’ll start in on arabique.

    Chris Rayis
    Columbus, Ohio

  • #2
    Sometimes I like mixing French with English in poetry too. Quite interesting. I don't know any Arabic at all but I did understand almost all of the French!


    • #3
      It's so much fun! This was written for a friend of mine from Lebanon - fluent in English, French, and Arabic.


      • #4

        Utilisation intéressante des langues


        • #5
          Chris, I love this. I glimpsed it a few weeks ago when I first discovered this forum and it stuck with me; now that the contest is over I came specifically looking for it again. It is playful - like where you break off at the conditional - and disarming and a fresh approach to the prompt. I appreciate how it incorporates the theme in more than one sense: first, by demonstrating your desire to understand your friend, and also by challenging the reader to understand more than one language at a time. Très bien fait!


          • #6
            This is so fun and creative. I love it! Very clever to rhyme English and French words.


            • #7
              Cool poem. I'm fluent in Arabic, English, and Urdu. I know some French. Go Figure.