Day 14: Six years of practice

Today marks the sixth anniversary of my disembarkation on the silver coast of Tuscany. First some early photos from then and next a poem.

Costa d’Argento is the real name of the area around me in the south of Tuscany and you know it’s a good place when you have to reduce the green in your photos.

This is what I saw on my first stroll to the sea six years ago, as yet without the dog because bestia came two months later. Imagine just having moved here.

That Canon, my first digital camera, from the recent poem was not so bad after all, was it. 😉

Today’s poem is about word confusions. English is complicated enough but mix it either with amore’s Italian or my Slovenian and you’ve got enough entertainment to last six years. Oh, bestia is fluent in all three, plus dog.

In the course of reading other people’s poems I came across the poem form Shadorma (six lines in a stanza with the syllables in meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5). I liked the idea so here is my first Shadorma chain.

Challenge 14: “Write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.”

Six years of practice

Hard to know
what he means sometimes
if a word
starts with H.
In his language it’s silent.
And illarious.

So we eat
the furnace when cold
and heat fruit
and salad.
At hate o’clock he tells them:
“I eight mosquitoes.”

“I’m hangry.”
By now I can tell
which it is.
When ungry, he doesn’t speak.
Six years of practice.

For Day 14 of NaPoWriMo



  1. I’m clapping with delight and laughing. I know this well. My Tennessee accent still gets remarks here in Pennsylvania 40 years later. Words! How they mix and mingle and sometimes are mangled. I love the affectionate humor of this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Claudia. 🙂 Tell me, which movie or TV show or something would give me the best insight into Tennessee accent? I’m so curious now! 😉 The first association was this song (by Arrested Development):


      1. Well, I can’t recommend a movie, etc., because I’ve never heard a Southern accent of any kind done by someone who’s not a native done with any authenticity. There are lots of subtleties, social class, education, rural vs urban and other variations that are clear to my ear but apparently TV/Hollywood don’t hear/don’t care. I found this site which records actual speakers and I recommend #4 and #10. As a note, I was born in Nashville, lived in Madison until age 6 and then we moved down the road to Hendersonville. These speakers sound very similar to what I remember from this area and also sound similar to my own voice and usage.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ohh, thank you for this link, Claudia, looks very pro. (Slovenia is missing from the list of countries though. Better this way because we all sound like Melanija, hahah.) The two voices that you point out barely have an accent if you ask me. 😀 But yes, I can hear a bit of singsong quality and I love it. Yes, Hollywood doesn’t care… Great resource, thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’re welcome. The singsong quality you picked out, it’s a characteristic I have read others use to describe the local speech I grew up with – another word being lilting. I think people here in the US would pick out the difference immediately, since our ears are tuned to English the way we speak it – but put us in England, say, and it all sounds the same to us (a British accent) but not to the British! I think there is no such thing as a monolithic accent for any language, but outsiders don’t pick out the details. Funny how that works. I think in another life I would love to study this phenomenon, along with the different word choices speakers make by region (I’ll never forget my midwestern grandmother calling a sofa a “davenport”). Words! Once again, intriguing.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It is amazing how language can so quickly get divided up by locality, it seems to be a feature of it, I guess we are influenced by our surroundings and those around us even if we don’t think we are. I think of words we used differently in Tennessee than here in Pennsylvania and they are in the same country, only 800 miles apart or so. A rich field for study and commentary.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great little poem. I really liked insight into a strong personality. Your photos of Tuscany are lovely. It looks like a beautiful place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an idyllic spot, Manja. Love that you have a donkey neighbor. He/she is so adorable. Congratulations on the six years. No wonder you are happy. And you have given me a little more Italian to learn., LOL. hangry…. reminds me of mungry more/massively hungry – It has become an idiom here since it was on a TV ad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thanks, Judy! 🙂 I should mention that he made an amazing progress from the early days when we were unable to communicate (in speech, we did it just fine in writing for three years before meeting). He had never heard spoken English before my Slavic accent (I sound like Melanija!). He learned English online from reading it only and pronounced English words as if they were Italian. That was truly funny. I should have recorded him.


      1. We need a poem about this. So you live in Tuscany now? Such a beautiful place. You travel so much that I’d never figured out which place you lived in. And you moved there from Slovania, he from Rome?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 😀 “Slovania” is fun, a mix between Slovenia and Slovakia. Yes, I moved from Slovenia where I was born and lived all my life until I was 43, and he moved from Rome, and for the past six years we have been living here, in the south of Tuscany. Our home was his family’s summer residence. It’s between Rome to the south and Siena to the north, about an hour and a half from each.


  4. Love the poem (and all word play)! My French friends do that with their Hs – remove them when they should be there and add them when they shouldn’t! Of course, I find it quite charming.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Anniversary to you both!
    Being part of a multilingual couple I can identify with the funny conversational glitches but in your case your main language of communication together is a second language for both of you. I guess it’s just that much more funny when the confusion starts 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Norm. 🙂 The confusion was quite big at the beginning, now it’s more rare. It’s still funny sometimes, though.

      Oh, I have just been looking at your cookie photo… I think I might have to use it again in today’s post. The subject is Delicious. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is my favourite response to the homonyms/homophones/mishearings/misreadings prompt. It’s cute and funny and has depth at the same time because it’s about people growing to understand each other. Lovely read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is lovely, Manja! And what beautiful pictures. Charming, idyllic and peaceful. I love the poem too:) I have never been to that side of the world and am waiting for that day to come soon! Congratulations on six years!!

    Liked by 1 person

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