Né v’chîn eune pièche êcrite au Festival Littéthaithe dé Dgèrnésy:
This poem was written at the Guernsey Literary Festival:
Au Festival Littéthaithe dé Dgèrnésy
Dans la pièche du marchi nou miâque eune paîmée d’mots,
les mios d’vèrsets sont ravaûlés en margalot,
à puchi des pagies piqu’linnes dé pourpres patholes,
à tourtilyi des lettres trilyies en néthes channoles.
Nou pâle dé lândgets d’fliambe; nou brait d’un tchoeu ligi.
La langue d’ichîn est dêcliathée par d’ssus l’marchi
et les ouothelles tch’èrchèvent chu houaithion littéthaithe
èrsonnent tréjous atout des pièches, des brais à taithe.
Lé chein tch’a des ouothelles, tch’i’ ouaie, tch’i’ sait trans’mé,
sait êcliaithi par les auteurs et lus pouvé;
les fieillets fliottent à fliot en achies achouêmies,
bâlent eune cliamûthe bein littéthaithe ès d’souothilyis.
Notes: For those who are interested in that sort of thing, here are some notes on the structure of the poem. Each stanza rhymes aabb; but the metre goes abab – lines 1 and 3 are Classical alexandrines (with the caesura after the 6th syllable), while lines 2 and 4 are Romantic alexandrines (with a caesura after both the 4th and 8th syllables). On the other hand, this can be read equally as iambic hexameter. So this can serve an example of how Jèrriais poetry has sat between French language and English language poetic traditions and conventions – something to consider especially iwhen reading 19th century Jèrriais poetry (whether the author is attempting to follow French rules of syllable counting or English rules of stress and metre – or perhaps both at the same time). This poem (perhaps too self-referential and self-consciously literary – but after all it is about performing at a literary festival, than which little is more self-consciously literary…) plays with the alexandrines, but those familiar with French poetry and less familiar with Jèrriais poetry should bear in mind that the tradition is (and has been fairly settled since the 19th century) only to count syllables that are pronounced – so there are twelve pronounced syllables in each line (plus either 1 or 2 caesuras alternating depending on the metre). Ignore silent letters – they’re not to be included in the syllable count (the rule for Jèrriais syllable counting is therefore different from what is conventional in French – e.g. the first line has the regular 12 syllables as pronounced, but if one applied French syllable counting rules for versification purposes, one would count 14).