Friday, February 20, 2009

Kelly’s Cross, Prince Edward Island, Canada 27.7.1983: Dramatic Skies, Drawled Speech

Having just drunk a glass of wine on an empty stomach, I’m not sure that I can write coherently. One experiences that seeming lucidity of thought which arises in a state of lassitude transmuted by alcohol to repose, but a lucidity coupled with a divine indifference to communicating any clear idea.

Have walked the last two days—weather so fine. Yesterday, as I returned, I saw the sky literally transformed as a storm, first contained in a little V of sky and hill, overtook a good half the sky. Perfectly clear blue to the east, and total darkness to the west. The island allows observation of such dramatic changes in weather.

On yesterday’s walk, I thought of several distinctive speech patterns I’ve noticed hear. One hears a drawling akin to New England—a drawled “yi-ess,” which ends on an interrogative—as well as the intrusive “r” of New England (“warsh”), and the phrase “hear tell.” If “yiess” is not used, then an inhaled sort of “yeah” is used—yeah said as one gasps. Would it be far-fetched to think that this comes ultimately from Scandinavia, where my brother tells me people speak this way? From Scandinavia via Scotland to PEI? Another phrase often used (New England, again?) is “betimes.”

Today a-berrying. Picked a nice lot of raspberries, very sweet and juicy. Some were very large, others tiny. All “wild.” Some of the nicest ones, though, were of a variety which clung to the inner core, so that to detach the berry was virtually to destroy it.

And now, tired, to bed and to read.

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