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They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Edgar Allan Poe, The Bells
On a roof stand the swallows ranged in wistful waiting rows,
Till they arrow off and drop like stones
Thomas Hardy, On Sturminster Foot-bridge
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days
John Masefield, Cargoes
And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman
A sound in my head that I can't describe
It's sort of whack, whir, wheeze, whine
Sputter, splat, squirt, scrape
Clink, clank, clunk, clatter
Crash, bang, beep, buzz
Ring, rip, roar, retch
Twang, toot, tinkle, thud
Pop, plop, plunk, pow
Snort, snuk, sniff, smack
Screech, splash, squish, squeek
Jingle, rattle, squeel, boing
Honk, hoot, hack, belch
Todd Rundgren, Onomatopoeia
This pop-art painting by Roy Lichtenstein is done like a panel of a DC comic. The word Crak! sounds like its meaning - a rifle firing. That is called onomatopoeia.
In English we use onomatopoeia in music lyrics - like in Splish Splash (I was taking a bath) by Bobby Darin. And in poetry. From Shakespeare to e e cummings. And of course in comics!
But onomatopoeia, ideophones and mimetic words - including words for more abstract concepts that don't have a sound - are very, very important in normal Japanese speaking and writing. Many of these words are made by reduplication -
Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
Lisel Mueller, Monet Refuses the Operation
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Though now in her old age, in her young age
She had been beautiful in that old way
That's all but gone
W B Yeats, The Old Age of Queen Maeve
I have lived long enough: my way of life
Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have.
William Shakespeare, Macbeth act 5 scene 3
He is a policeman you know
All the years and nothing to show
He is a policeman you know
She did not really want to know; she believed she understood already.
Philip K Dick, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
These are all things I saw, heard or read last week in Japan.
Neighbourhood loudspeakers asked everybody to look out for a man in his seventies who had gone wandering off. And described what he was wearing. Age-related problems like wandering are becoming more and more common. 23% of Japan's population is over 65, the highest percentage in the world. The figure is projected to be 41% by 2055.
A plainclothes police officer caught a man who had groped
I wrote this essay a year ago after the earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku. Everyone in Japan has been affected directly or indirectly. I know people whose houses were destroyed or seriously damaged. I have met refugees from Fukushima who might never, ever, be able to go home. And nuclear power does not look so clean and cheap when you factor in the costs of a meltdown.
mother calls but we don't hear
there's lots more things to do
it's only 5 o'clock and we're not tired yet
but we will be
David Bowie, There is a happy land
There is a happy land far, far away
traditional hymn from the movie The Proposition, arranged by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
At 2.46 p.m. on Friday, 3 March 2011 an earthquake hit the coast of northern Japan. Time stopped. There are 20,000 dead and missing.
It was at 5.46 a.m. on Tuesday, 17 January 1995 that an earthquake hit Kobe. More than 6,000 people died.
There's something about 46 minutes past the hour.
I glance at the clock.
When I was a boy we played with conkers. Conkers are smooth polished horse chestnuts. We bored holes through them with metal skewers and threaded them with string. Then we duelled, taking swings at other conkers. Eventually one conker would shatter and the one left was the winner. A strong conker could battle on for days or weeks.
We played with marbles too. Marbles are colourful glass balls. You flicked y
Warning: There is a little profane language in this post. If you don't want to read it please stop now and check back in next week. Niall
Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake. To smash, injure or destroy is the worst sin a human being can commit. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.
Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido, quoted in The Art of Peace by John Stevens
The time of universal peace is near.
Prove this a prosp'rous day, the three-nooked world
Shall bear the olive freely.
William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra act 4 scene 6
The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from the emptied cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. Fuck off, she said.
Samuel Beckett, The End
Christy Brown: Fock ahv.
Dr. Eileen Colt: With speech therapy, I can teach you to say "fuck off" more clearly.
from the movie adaptation of Christy Brown's autobiography My Left Foot
If someone takes out a camera in Japan young people all pose flashing two-finger peace signs. In the UK that palm out V-sign is a victory sign. Winston Churchill used it during the second world war as a powerful symbol of hope.
In Japan the sign meant victory until the early nineteen-seventies. There was a s