Cool Poem

23 Mar

I’m reading Pinker’s new book The Stuff of Thought. The guy is chalk full of examples to support his words analyzing our system of words and thoughts. One thing he threw in the mix was this poem which I really like, not quite sure why but it strikes me as clever. It also fronts as surface, which is nice because then ya can dig into it and get out from it what you want/can. To lay down the context, Pinker was discussing radical pragmatics as an alternative to conceptual semantics in terms of the aquisition and capacity for human language. Yeah, he’s pretty much presenting the theory of pragmatics which is ( to the linguist) how language is used in context in light of the knowledge and expectations of the conversants. No more waiting, I’ll unveil the poem he provided to exemplify polysemy as a function of pragmatics:

Dear White Fella
When I am born I’m black
When I grow up I’m black
When I am sick I’m black
When I go out ina sun I’m black
When I git cold I’m black
When I git scared I’m black
And when I die I’m still black.

But you white fella
When you’re born you’re pink
When you grow up you’re white
When you git sick you’re green
When you go out ina sun you go red
When you git cold you go blue
When you git scared you go yellow
And when you die you go grey
And you got the cheek to call me coloured?

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One Response to “Cool Poem”

  1. Anonymous April 12, 2008 at 2:23 AM #

    You are a brilliant writer! Your description of springtime was truly exquisite – thank you

    – the parentals

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