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Waiting for Spring

Apr 2, 2009 2:46 PM | 1 comment

In these early days of April, watching eagerly for signs of leaves returning to the trees, I am reminded of this old poem:

Spring is sprung,
the grass is ris,
I wonder where them boidies is?
The boid is on the wing--
Of course the wing is on the boid. -Anonymous

Often attributed to Ogden Nash or other individuals, versions of this poem have appeared in newspapers (and now web pages) since the mid-twentieth century. Written in "Brooklynese," the poem is featured in a New York Times article on January 18, 1976 about our notable dialect in Brooklyn/Bronx/New York/New Jersey. But although there is clearly still a Brooklyn accent, would anyone agree that Brooklynese still exists? Or has it gone the way of the Dodo bird?    

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This postcard of the entrance to flower gardens in Prospect Park illustrates the beauty of springtime in Brooklyn. And going further back in time, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle effuses about how "the trees in the parks and suburbs and on the country roads are putting forth their tender leaves, many of them fill the air with their fragrance, the lawns and hill sides are robed in beautiful green occasionally flecked with flowers of other colors, and the melodies of the birds complement these scenes of verbal beauty with the only utterances that seem appropriate to the time." (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 13, 1872). Here's to spring!


4/6/2009 3:12:08 PM #

An elderly lady I used to know had the "erster" part of the accent but not the "poil." I am not sure whether she is still with us.