June 12, 2009

Mirino's Rainbow alphabet doggerel

Alphabet poems written for young French children to widen their vocabulary and help them with their English pronunciation. Young Italians might also be interested to use them to practice their English, provided their English teacher is with them to listen and correct them when necessary.

(Click on the above titles to go to the next two letters, or use the links below)

is for Anagram

An Anagram
Could be
A Ganaram.
It might even be
A Nagaram.
But if it isn't
A Magaram
Then it can only be
A Ragaman.


is for Bagpipes

Mc Tavish blew his bagpipes
As his kilt flapped in the wind
Standing nobly on the hillside,
Bonnier sight ye ne'er would find.

Both his blue knees they did tremble
With emotion and with cold,
But he tunelessly kept playing
Being deaf as well as bold.


'Bonnier sight ye ne'er' would find: 'A more beautiful sight you would never find'. (Scottish dialect)


Text & image © Mirino (PW) June, 2009


Scuola d'inglese

Con il prossimo post Mirino inaugura la sua collaborazione con questo blog. Si tratta di una doppia novità, in effetti, essendo la prima volta che la firma non è quella del sottoscritto, e poi la finalità, e soprattutto il target, cioè, rispettivamente: insegnare l’inglese e i bambini (ma non esclusivamente, perché se degli adulti si vogliono aggregare non sarò certo io a vietarlo, anzi, direi esattamente il contrario).

Quando Mirino mi ha proposto la cosa la mia reazione è stata entusiastica. Le novità mi fanno spesso questo effetto, soprattutto quando sono all’insegna della poesia e della creatività. Abbiamo bisogno tutti sia dell’una sia dell’altra. Soprattutto della prima, perché, come disse il mio amatissimo Friedrich Hölderlin, “poeticamente abita l’uomo su questa Terra.”

A Mirino va tutta la mia gratitudine per il contributo che si accinge a dare. Tra l’altro, va detto che il suo apporto non si limiterà all’aspetto linguistico e poetico, essendo egli una persona intellettualmente molto curiosa e, detto en passant, avendo la ventura di essere un artista anglo-scozzese che vive in Francia e che per giunta conosce bene l’Italia e quasi altrettanto bene l’italiano.

A lui un caloroso benvenuto a bordo!

"Italy's Obama"

“To tolerate illegal immigration above all harms those who enter our country with the desire to work and integrate themselves and to have a normal life.”

“The problem is that these people don’t have papers, they are very poor, so either they must steal to eat or they are exploited by employers who give them very little money and don’t care if they die.”

The person who spoke those words is Sandy Cane, a 47-year-old Italian-American who has been elected mayor of the small Italian town of Viggiu, close to the Swiss border. Predictably, she was backed by one of the two “anti-immigrant” parties of Italy. To be precise she was backed by the most “anti” of the two: the Northern League. But she is not a racist at all, for the simple reason that she is a black woman, being the daughter of a black American soldier and an Italian woman from Viggiu. And she told the press that the Northern League had “welcomed her warmly,” to the point that Umberto Bossi, the head of the party, is told to have had discussions with Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, which does not accept non-whites as members.

Needless to say, Sandy supports Italy’s newly adopted policy of intercepting boatloads of immigrants as they try to cross the Mediterranean and forcing them back to Libya, where most of the boats originate. And her argument is not at all insignificant:

“The problem is far too big for Italy to handle on its own. I think the United Nations should have a much bigger presence in countries like Libya so that they can process people there. In any case, how many are really refugees, rather than economic migrants?”

What else? This for instance:

“People think the League is racist but now it is much stronger and more mature than it once was. It is not racist to be against illegal immigration.”

“In America I voted for Obama, in Italy for Bossi.”

Sandy is being hailed as “Italy’s Obama.”