We could never know the source–not us–
Of those noises all, your third-grade teacher said,
That she had never heard before–and some
She’d never imagined possible.
–Marden J. Clark, “Some Couth”
Dennis was long out of third grade by the time his youngest brother was born, indeed was out of school that year with rheumatic fever, so he babysat a lot and had a lot of time to teach me all those joyous mouth sounds–to pass on his delight of odd noise, so that when I came across two delightful noises in American Literature: The Makers and the Making, I held them in my mouth.
One is Ezra Pound’s description in Canto LXXXIII of William Butler Yeats
that had made a great Peeeeacock
in the proide ov his oiye
had made a great peeeeeeecock in the . . .
made a great peacock
in the proide of his oyyee
proide ov his oy-ee
I find myself repeating it as if I was a pirate’s parrot, “Proide ov his oyyee, proide ov his oy-ee.” Continue reading