Al Young title

STICKS & STONE, NOTES & TONE

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— for Robert Hass

Dr. Eve Sweetser’s session in the Cross-Cultural Poetics series:
Early Welsh Metrics
~ “Metaphors and Metonyms for the Heroic Society” ~ UC Berkeley 3/19/2009

Celtic = old fash
Keltic = correct

Germans pushed Celts south
Romans pushed them onto islands

Celtic inscriptions in Italy, Spain, France

Curses dropped into wells for lower gods
Blessings burnt & sent up to higher gods

Sweetser charms w/ her love of subject

Imagined proto-bard

13th C = paleography (copied ms.)

Celts elegize defeat & even
love a poem of defeat claimed by the Scots
(odd becuz Scots = enemy)

Question of metrics
How syllabics work
Old Welsh we’re looking now at stress-metric lines

Accentual vs. quantitative verse
Accentual counts stresses,
incl phrasal stress vs. lexical stress

Celts obsessed with three-ness

“Wine-fed, mead-fed, feast-poison” ref to battle time
expected of men who received the mead or wine

(Euro obsession w/ war & dying)

Sweetser: “Hard to sep metaphor fr metonomy”
— waiter id’s diner to chef as “the BLT” —
“the BLT wants a coke” = metonymic

(Al’s POV: Washington & Paris enslave & kidnap Haiti) —
Sweetser: “But to call someone ‘honeybun’ or ‘sugar’ = metaphorical”

Cattle as wealth
Upward & downward responsibilities

Welsh verse doesn’t tell you what
metaphor refers to; Anglo-Saxon does —
The “hall” = example;
the “self” another

Cross-linguistic metaphor systems

The stack of bks went up = metonymyic frame:

Milk in glass

Metonymy is abt correlation
Metaphor is abt diff frames

Kulchur frames

© 2011 Al Young


Photo: John Ohala

Professor Eve Sweetser | 2007

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