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Batt, James R. (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 20, Number 4 (Fall 1974)

Cassidy, Frederic G.
Stalking American regionalisms,   pp. 6-8


Cameron, Bea
Songs my mother taught me,   p. 8


Page 8


editors because they cover the
whole country and give us a key
to r e l at i v e frequencies-which
terms are common, which less well
known, which perhaps rare. We
plan to publish them as a "Data
Summary," to appear if possible
in 1974, which, though printed
first, will ultimately form the last
volume of the Dictionary. The
reader who wants fuller detail than
can be found in the conventional
treatment of any word will be re-
ferred to the Data Summary which
will include the age and education-
al bracket of the people who gave
each response and the section of
the country where each respondent
lived. Also available will be in-
formation on the race, sex, and
occupation of the respondents, and
other "social" factors. The Data
Summary is being sorted and
tabulated and will be printed by
computer processes.
  Generous support for this pro-
ject during the first five years came
from the U.S. Office of Education;
thereafter the National Endowment
for the Humanities provided fund-
ing. The University of Wisconsin-
Madison, as "cooperating institu-
tion," has also shared in this sup-
port. When, in a few more years,
DARE is completed, the plan of
the Dialect Society, made so many
years ago, will come to fruition,
and a neglected dimension of
American English will be at last
accessible to those interested.
         Songjs
                 My
   Mother
   Taugjht
                  Me
       By Bea Cameron
Bea Cameron is a Madison poet
whose published works include
   Clarifications, Snow-Wreath,
   and In The Blackened Rose.
I recall the time your mother got for her birthday
a doll, dressed in the prettiest clothes,
which a friend of her mother had taken weeks to make,
with finished seams, delicate embroideries,
bonnet and sash, collar all trimmed with lace,
and the first thing your mother did was to take the clothes
off the doll, and put them on the cat,
who leaped to the windowsill, dived, and was never heard from again.
I remember also how a friend of your father's family
arrived as a guest, after a day's riding,
and before he had even dismounted somebody asked him
"When are you going to go home?"
"Right now!" he answered, and gave the spurs to his horse,
and that was the last they ever saw of him.
That was how I learned to ask always "How long can you stay!"
"But what of the doll?" "Oh, the doll by itself
was nothing special . . . "
Forever, sphered in your recollected voice,
Great-grandmother leans, horrified, out of the window,
wondering what on earth she will tell Mrs. Himady,
while Grandmother cries in fright and because an action
in the logic of play has had such consequences,
and the friends stand with arms and mouth agape,
staring at the retreating dustcloud, hearing the hoofbeats
fall over the edge of dismay,
and Uncle Al, who saved his money for fireworks
and on the dawn of the Fourth sneaked out to light just one,
and the whole bag caught fire,
remains transfixed in the rockets' day-bleached glare,
the sputter of snakes, backfiring roman candles,
while the family windows, blooming with sleep and astonishment
behold him, not magnifico, but fool.
What is it clamps on laughter
like felted hammers, a glove from behind, Mother?
What is it neither pity nor time repairs?
8


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