Linguistics Nerd Camp—Bethany Carlson SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 2 Contents Bonus Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know—Madalena Cruz-Ferreira

How Do I Love Thee?
Let Me Draw a Tree Diagram

Alex Savoy

[Author’s Note: Quite in fitting with the approach of Valentine’s Day, I submit this love poem, which, surprisingly, actually workedthough alas I am no longer dating said person anymore, which is why I am bitterly prostituting this former declaration of love, which I have suitably altered for the occasion.]

How do I love thee? Let me draw a tree diagram—
I was maundering, lonely as a bilabial trill,
When I first heard your voice—(some breathy strange tongue)
I was love-struck at once—(after all, I was young)
How rounded your mouth,
And iotally perfect your skin.
Your eyes are like geminates, plosive and clear,
And how like a Beta is the shape of your ear.

I will roll my uvular trill above hoary mountains
Where sibilant oracles crouch in their caves;
And remember how once, in some antique room,
I met my love, when the virgules once bloomed.
Without you, all is ash, and thorn, and schwa;
I would be obstruent, my heart retroflexed.
And will it be ever as it was once before?
      As quoth the wug, “Nope, nevermore.”

Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson
Bonus Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira
SpecGram Vol CLXI, No 2 Contents