NABOKV-L post 0017781, Sun, 1 Mar 2009 07:16:56 -0800

perils of learning Russian
Yesterday Jansy wrote: You may weep for me - for all you care

So I won't cry for you, dear Nabokovian, the truth is I never should

But all seriousness aside, undertaking the learning of Russian is
definitely not for everyone. There is even a famous Ode to Roman
Jakobson that makes that very point. It ends thus:

Roman made his mind up at seventy-five
That he would live to be the oldest Slavist alive.
But analyzing grammar can play awfully mean tricks
And poor Roman gave up Russian at seventy-six.

Roman and his story
point the way to glory
for all man and womankind:
If you study Russian
It might lead to concussion
And you're bound to lose your mind.


* I believe the less famous poet's name is Richard von Echternach.

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