Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Switching on to teaching autowitter
'...OK, so then in lines 54-5 of the poem we have this sceadu forð eode, / wann under wolcnum: 'a shadow went forth, dark under the clouds'. Now this is alluding to Matthew's Gospel, 27:45, 'Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth', but it's got this lovely word wann which of course gives us Modern English 'wan'. Funny old word that, actually---it looks suspiciously like Old Welsh gwann, 'weak, sad, gloomy', as Andrew Breeze has argued. Never sure how to pronounce 'wan' personally. When I was at college there was an awful girl called Joanne, except everyone called her Jo-wan, because, oh God, she wasn't half wan. You wouldn't have believed it. Wan as you like. Anyway, we all lost touch with her and then the next thing I heard was that she'd been run over by a limousine stepping off the kerb on the Charing Cross Road. Her left leg was shorter than her right after that and had a permanent S-bend in it. Still, as my friend Mel said, how ironic that the Vauxhall Nova of women should be knocked down by a limousine....'
[Bo looks up. Everyone in class aghast. One girl has her hand over her mouth.]