April 14th, 2009

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fayanora tipped me to this, and I thought it was cool enough to deserve a post of its own:

Lost Aboriginal language revived

The sounds of a lost language echo across a packed classroom in suburban Sydney as high school children help to revive an ancient part of Australia's rich indigenous culture.

Dharug was one of the dominant Aboriginal dialects in the Sydney region when British settlers arrived in 1788, but became extinct under the weight of colonisation.

Details of its demise are sketchy but linguists believe the last of the traditional Dharug speakers died in the late 19th Century, and their unique tongue only survives because of written records.

In a remarkable comeback, Dharug now breathes again - its revitalisation helped by the efforts of staff at Chifley College's Dunheved campus in Sydney.

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Seeking Cosponsors for "Where Have All the Heroes Gone?-Different Gifts"

haikujaguar has posted that "Where Have All the Heroes Gone?/Different Gifts" from the April 7, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl was her favorite piece but out of price range, and wants to know if anyone would be interested in pooling resources to sponsor it.

EDIT 4-16-09: This poem is fully funded! Thank you all so much. You may read it at:
http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/589098.html
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Poem: "Whistling Girls and Crowing Hens"

Taking the lead for the shorter poem poll is "Whistling Girls and Crowing Hens," by happy coincidence the match for "A Doe in Velvet," exploring the aspect of girls who like boys but want a fair share of adventure. This poem was inspired by a prompt from kadiera and sponsored out of the general poetry fund for the April 7, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl.

The old saying quoted herein about "whistling girls and crowing hens" is real, and used to discourage girls from behavior that is perceived as masculine. It exists in assorted versions. Heh ... so I made a new one, in the end, with a different message.


Whistling Girls and Crowing Hens

Mothers cluck and grandmothers frown –
“Hush up your mouth! Let that skirt down!
Whistling girls and crowing hens
Will always come to some bad ends.”


Still they come on the market day,
Rowdy girls of a wild way,
Rucking up skirts to free their legs,
Swinging their baskets full of eggs.

Says Joan, “I’ve saved to buy a sword.”
“I’ll just rescue a handsome lord,”
Brit says, winking, her cheeks aglow.
Marian grins and strings her bow.

The years roll on, and not one weds,
Though sisters go to marriage beds.
Their mothers wail and cry, “What for?”
Then, hark – the distant horns of war!

Joan grabs her sword and steals a horse
To change the battle’s bitter course.
The men she leads are full of heart.
They slay the foe. Joan does her part.

Brit finds the kidnapped prince’s cell –
Six hens distract the guard dogs well.
She sets him free and off they fly.
He swears to wed her, by and by.

Wedding bells ring for King and Queen
As Mark and Brit walk up the green.
A traitor tries to steal the crown –
Marian’s there to shoot him down.

Joan weds a scout; Marian, too,
Chooses a soldier, brave and true.
Joan wears her sword upon the day;
Marian’s crowned with thorns of May.

Daughters come to them each in time,
Greeted in turn with this new rhyme:
“Whistling girls and crowing hens
Do more good than anyone kens!”