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March 09, 2007

Back in print: Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames

Way back in September 1986, the beginning of my second year in college, the small town library had a book sale. I don't know where they got their book donations, but they had the best book sales I've ever seen. They had tons of foreign language books, lots of hardcovers of all sorts. I got a 1980 Encyclopedia Britannica for $100 and became the envy of many of my friends.

Along with a bag of German and other language books, I picked up a thin little paperback called Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames. It was a strange book. It consisted of 40 poems in French. Or did it?

I know almost nothing of French. I did one or two lessons in a Berlitz Self-Teacher back in '85 or so. But that was enough. You don't need to be able to understand French to enjoy Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames, you just need to be able to pronounce it.

Un petit d'un petit
S'étonne aux Halles
Un petit d'un petit
Ah! degrés te fallent
Indolent qui ne sort cesse
Indolent qui ne se mène
Qu'importe un petit d'un petit
Tout Gai de Reguennes.

What does it all mean? Each poem comes with footnotes to explain unfamiliar words and troublesome phrases...but once you figure out what's going on, you realize that "Luis d'Antin van Rooten", if he really exist(s|ed), was just having a bit of fun.

I have the 1980 Penguin edition of Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames. In 1986 I started a writing a list of poem titles, adding as I figured out each one. It's been 20 years and I'm still missing 9 titles. How's that for entertainment value?

Permalink | Posted by Joe at 03:58 PM | Comments (5)

March 05, 2007


So today I got a stock spam email from "Mystekque Mich" with the subject "Joe--message from Mystekque". How do you pronounce that? To me it looks like "mistake". How polite of the spammers to warn us against the mistake of following their stock "advice".

Oh, and it's my birthday today: 29 for the 12th time. Some people try to tell me it's 40, but I don't know what they're talking about.

Permalink | Posted by Joe at 08:59 PM | Comments (1)