Monday, January 26, 2009

Live Poet's Society

This past weekend I ate dinner at Dave and Erin's wonderful house (Side note: D&E are our team leaders here in Iasi) with Erin's family who was visiting from the states (mom, grandmother, sister, niece, and two brothers) and some friends from Iasi- Mark and Gabi.  Mark is from England and Gabi is from Romania, and they are married and live here in Iasi.  To describe Mark in one word: Hilarious.  The man is just hysterically funny.  All the time.  And he has a distinctly British way of telling stories that is just so... cheeky.  In any event, he was telling us about some poems he uses to teach students English, and they were all quite amusing.  Furthermore, Erin's younger brother Luke (who is 12) had written some Haikus about Romania for a school project.  One in particular involved a story about a dead rat he saw on the sidewalk.  Excellent. This led to the decision that everyone present should write either a Haiku or a Limerick about our evening and/or Iasi and/or Romania.   What follows are my favorites, and ones that don't take "inside knowledge" to understand, per se.  One note- a few years back Erin was here with her sister Megan and there was some story that involved a Romanian saying to Megan that "Girls who love bread make kilos."  Basically- if you eat bread, you'll get fat.  That will help you understand several of these lovely creations.  Without further ado, selections from the first ever Live Poet's Society of Iasi:

Wheat, beef, onion stew
Poultry and potatoes too
This is my Haiku
-Trevor (on the Iasi team)

Chubby Megan Glenn
Girls who love bread make kilos
I should have more borscht
- Megan (Erin's sister)

Muddy streets, dead cats
Broken cars and men in hats
Stray dogs are roaming
- Luke (Erin's brother)

There once was a city named "Iasi"
Which rhymed with the phrase "Oh my gosh!"
Sweet Erin and Dave
Gave me room in their cave
A place that way homey, not posh
- Janis (Erin's mom)

There once was a family from the U.S. of A.
It seemed they went shopping and ate all the day
But once in awhile
They would study a pile
And find a rat snoring away!
- Mark (the Brit)

Potatoes and bread
Mamaliga and borscht too
Staple foods in Iasi

Once I was walking to a farm
A dog my heart did charm
I pet her small pup
Her mouth opened up
And now there's a bruise on my arm
-Christina (on the Iasi team, Trevor's wife)

When people ask, "Where did we go?"
We swallow our pride and ego
We look at our thighs
We answer with sighs
"Where girls who like bread make kilos!"

Techno, honking, crows
Stray dogs barking all night long
Many sounds of Iasi

Romania was, Romania is, Romania is to be
As the seasons change from orange to gray
So too, from gray to green
Its streets will dry, its trees will bud
But for now we cannot see
But its people are true, and the culture so rich
Life bursting from weathered seams
Look beyond the dust, and the weary stone
For a new sun rises, after
As true as it is, as it always has been
The sun is rising again
For it always was, and always will be
A beautiful country to me
-Greg (Erin's brother)

So Greg clearly went over and beyond the Haiku/Limerick theme.  But he's just THAT GOOD.  It was quite fun to see all the threads of life in Iasi, from people who live here and people who are visiting- similarities and differences.  But I thought it was quite an interesting little exercise and wanted to share it.  I wonder if the poetry would be different in the spring... Hmmm.

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