Monday, March 22, 2010


 Cyclamen persicum

Inspired by the sight of the beautiful cyclamen on the table out in my patio, I decided to post this old old poem about the plant.  It demonstrates how pronunciation of a name can be influenced by many factors.  Go ahead and read it out loud. 


How shall we sound its mystic name
Of Greek descent and Persian fame?
Shall "y" be long and "a" be short,
Or will the "y" and "a" retort?
Shall "y" be lightly rippled o'er,
Or should we emphasize it more?
Alas! The doctors disagree,
For "y's" a doubtful quantity.
 Some people use it now and then,
As if 'twere written "Sickly-men";
But as it comes from kuklos, Greek,
Why not "kick-laymen," so to speak?
 The gardener, with his ready wit,
Upon another mode has hit;
He's terse and brief -- long names dislikes,
And so he renders it as "Sykes."

Stroll in your garden today and pay attention to the colorful language of spring. 
Appreciate the magical emergence of life and the crescendo of canopies they bring.
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