The Ancient Modern
Damn Normans / Joshua Alan Sturgill
The Norman French destroyed our speech !
Damn Normans !
with duplicate, delicate latinizations,
they clogged the logic of our alphabet:
excessive letterings to bloat their words
and silent vowels — like graves
of unnamed soldiers on a battlefield.
muddle half the world with mumbling !
So give me cow for meals, never beef !
And stone to build my temples, never rock !
Give me Jesus, risen out of earth, undelicate !
Not a portrait of a pale saint – but Jesus
resurrected everywhere at once !
The carven Christ who, sword-clad
crushes death at His command !
Jesus, ancient, present, soon-to-come:
make me to blaze, not merely flame,
to be harbinger of love, not some mere indication !
Restore, O Lord the broken bond
between the spellings and the sounds
and may our incantations then revive
their music and their power !
Lord, give me mud and dirt on prayerful knees,
not soil satisfied in tame and tender flower beds !