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Them and [uz] - Tony Harrison

for Professors Richard Hoggart & Leon Cortez

ai, ai, ay, ay ... stutterer Demosthenes
gob full of pebbles outshouting seas-

4 words only of mi 'art aches and ... 'Mine's broken,
you barbarian, T.W.!' He was nicely spoken.
'Can't have our glorious heritage done to death!'

I played the Drunken Porter in Macbeth.

'Poetry's the speech of kings. You're one of those
Shakespeare gives the comic bits to: prose!
All poetry (even Cockney Keats?) you see
's been dubbed by [Ls] into RP,
Received Pronunciation, please believe (Ls)
your speech is in the hands of the Receivers.'

We say ‘(Ls) not [uz], T.W.!’ That shut my trap.
I doffed my flat a's (as in ‘Flat cap’)
my mouth all stuffed with glottals, great
lumps to hawk up and spit out ... E-nun-ci-ate!

- Tony Harrison

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