Sunday, 19 June 2016

Enjoying English

Poul Anderson has been reminding us where the Angles originated before they came to this island and renamed part of it England. Now the English language is spoken in Britain, Ireland, North America, South Africa and Australia. What wonderful words are prepositions, connecting nouns to sentences. Thus:

"She sat outdoors, on a bench under a willow tree in a herb garden behind her dwelling." (Hrolf Kraki's Saga, p. 84)

Five times, when the sentence could have ended, it is continued by a preposition. Thus, the pronoun denoting Yrsa is simultaneously outside, on, under, in and behind different nouns. (There was a professional organization called NATESLA, the National Association for the Teaching of English as a Second Language to Adults.)

In the description of the garden, we again expect and find a multi-sensory spectacular:

"Sunlight spattered through shade to waken ruddy hues in her braids. The air lay hot and moveless, full of the smells of herbs for cooking or healing - sharp leek, chervil, wormwood, wintergreen; milk-souring sorrel; bitter rue; sweet thyme; shy cress. A pair of swallows darted woad-blue on a mosquito hunt. When gravel in the path scrunched under Adhil's feet..." (ibid.)

ruddy hues

hot still air

eight herbs

scrunching gravel

Taste (by implication)

No comments: