When I was in elementary school, I spent a lot of time learning to make silly faces and strange voices.
I taught myself how to wiggle my ears, raise one eyebrow at a time, and pucker my lips like a fish.
I learned how to talk like Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse and Dracula. I practiced purring and meowing to my cat. I even learned how to burp whenever I want.
About ten years ago, I even wrote an entire poem, called “My Excellent Education,” about all these crazy things I learned in school (even thought they weren’t what I was supposed to be studying). In fact, “My Excellent Education” is one of the few poems I’ve written that is almost entirely true.
Today’s poem, “I’ve Started Learning Honkish,” is specifically about the kinds of noises I liked to make–mooing, honking, burping, and so on—plus a bunch more that I just made up.
I even gave them names. I mean, if Spanish is what they speak in Spain, Norwegian is what they speak in Norway, and Chinese is what they speak in China, why can’t you speak Burpish, Snorwegian, and Garglese?
If you like this poem, why not see if you can invent a few new languages from the crazy sounds you can make and maybe even add a stanza or two of your own to this poem?
I’ve Started Learning Honkish
I’ve started learning Honkish.
It’s my favorite language now.
I’m also learning Mooish.
I can speak just like a cow.
I’m learning Chirpish, Burpish,
Beepish, yes, and Sneezanese,
and a dialect of Buzzish
so I sound just like the bees.
My dad taught me Snorwegian,
plus some Ancient Garglese,
and I’m fluent in a dozen other
languages like these.
I’m something of prodigy
where language is concerned,
except for ones the language teacher
says I should have learned.
She tried to teach me Spanish,
French, and German, but I’m lazy.
And, anyway, I’d rather learn
the ones that drive her crazy.