Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Révolution tranquille"

This poem is spillover from the June 2, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from Shirley Barrette and [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "Change" square in my 6-1-20 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

"Révolution tranquille"


In the province of Quebec,
the 1960s brought about
intense political and
cultural changes.

The liberal government
took control over health care
and public education from
the Roman Catholic Church.

It expanded public service
and invested in infrastructure.
It nationalized electricity
as well as a pension plan.

The leading city of Montreal
evolved both in social structures
and in urban environment,
gaining more influence
within Canadian politics.

French-Canadians in Québec
adopted a new name, Québécois,
creating an identity distinct from
and yet deeply rooted within
both France and Canada.

One by one, France was
losing its colonies in Africa,
and that concerned people.

The francophones gathered
in support of their language,
reaching out to other speakers
scattered around the world.

Just over the border, they found
likeminded spirits in New England --
especially the states of Maine,
Vermont, and New Hampshire --
and farther out in Michigan,
Missouri, and Louisiana.

The people of Vermont
were particularly inclined
to make connections, and
they set up arrangements
for reciprocal tourism that
benefited both sides.

This way, travelers could
easily find someone who
shared their language,
instead of floundering
in some other tongue.

From high school and
college, they exchanged
students who loved
the French language
and its cultures.

Through the years,
the sentiments grew,
gaining momentum
like a river flowing
down to the ocean.

Several African nations
made quiet overtures
to other francophones,
which eventually formed
Agence de Coopération
Culturelle et Technique

to promote French in 1970.

The position of French as
a world language was secure.

* * *


"Recognizing Quebec as being different, recognizing our history, recognizing our identity, has never meant a weakening of Quebec and has never been a threat to national unity."
-- Jean Charest

The Quiet Revolution (Révolution tranquille) spanned about a decade of dramatic sociopolitical changes in Québec, including the rise of 'Québécois' identity.

In Canada, "francophone" means a native speaker of French, while the wider definition tends to include everyone who speaks it.

adjective, often capitalized
fran•co•phone | \ ˈfraŋ-kə-ˌfōn , -kō- \
Definition of francophone
: of, having, or belonging to a population using French as its first or sometimes second language

Francophone countries where French is the prevailing language include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

French is a key language in Maine, Vermont, and Louisiana with footholds in several other states. Its prevalence is considerably higher in Terramagne-America than here because their language-learning policies are designed to produce genuine fluency (by starting in preschool or grade school) rather than to fake it (by starting in high school after the language window is closing for most people).

The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) is an international organization of countries and cultures that speak and value the French language.

Explore the criteria for a world language.  French qualifies, but for a while its influence was collapsing so fast that people worried it might fall out of the category.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, history, linguistics, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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