Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Demise of a Word

asks us to use the words in blue by Nicholas Breton.


"In the merry month of May
In a morn by break of day" .
There's a couplet to recite
Often, to your heart's delight!
I think it might go on to say
"Everyone is feeling gay."
'Odd?' you say, 'That makes no sense!'
So I must say in my own defence
That there was a time when I was young,
When the word 'gay' was freely sung,
Spoken, rhymed about and read,
And no-one ever turned a head.
Before I continue, let me state,
That I'm not hung-up about your mate.
Same-sex marriages? Quite O.K.
But why did you steal that nice word 'gay'?
'Gay' was one of the sweetest words.
One applied it to the singing birds,
Chorusing gaily at rising sun,
Bringing joy to everyone.
'Gay' was the adjective of choice
When one described a happy voice.
'Gay' meant freedom, sweetness, light,
'Gay' meant light-hearted, pure delight.
Not only that but here am I
Raising a typical poet's cry...
'Gay' rhymed so well with everything!
No need for any pondering.
Bay and clay and day and fay,
Grey and hay and jay and lay,
May and nay and pay and say,
Stay and play and sway and bray.
Not to mention words like roundelay,
Holiday and cabaret.
Now, in the merry month of May
I mourn the loss of that sweet word 'gay'.

(An unbelievable four years ago!)

Full house on the trampoline!
Not much room in between!
Bouncing, jumping, sprawling, leaning!
Every type of trampolining!
Little Harry's not too sure
What a trampoline is for!
Blake is giggling fit to bust!
No wonder that he bit the dust!
Brian's too large, and that's a fact,
But Brian's always action-packed!
As for Mike, he's having fun
Joining-in with everyone!
All I could do was stand and laugh
And quickly take a photograph!



Jae Rose said...

Well everybody looked like they had a gay old time in the garden four years ago..lovely..I guess words come and go..made me wonder as well how many schools still do may-pole dancing..or if that is disappearing too..jae

Amanda said...

LOL...that's a perfectly Legitimate and funny question. :)

Meryl said...

Wonderful post. And so true. There is a wonderful young adult book called FRINDLE by Andrew Clemens that addresses what makes a word a word. I thought of that book reading you lovely poem. Funny how word usage can change so quickly.

Altonian said...

Two great poems again. I too mourn the loss of that charming word Gay.

Unknown said...

Happiness is emanating from that trampoline photo!

Whitesnake said...


Old Egg said...

How I agree with you. We must fight back and reclaim the word Gay. We should use it at every opportunity in its proper context and with the joy and bubbliness that it evokes.

Thank you once again for you beautiful poems, insight and the fun you bring in your blog.

Unknown said...

Love both of these and they look like they are having a gay old time on that trampoline... in the true sense of the word:-)

Gloria said...

I too remember when gay meant merry. Strange how our language keeps changing. Great fun poem...and I love your picture and verse of the trampoline!

Jingle said...

cheerful piece.
love the smiles.
bless you.

Cynthia M said...

Well said...and times are indeed changing, someimes too fast for me to keep up!

Dee Martin said...

now you are sending to google - I wonder how the word became associated with homosexual to begin with?
Odd how our language changes. I remember when proper vocabulary arguments could be settled with the dictionary which had the final "word" so to speak! Loved this and the poem about your family on the trampoline is priceless :)

Jess PJ said...

Gay does rhyme with everything! Pity to lose such a word. But that's how language changes and society changes.

Lisa said...

Awesome post.


Isabel said...

love your trapolin poem. such a great moment to put in a photograph and verse. like your first poem too.

Anonymous said...


Much better news than mine, per usual.