jueves, 8 de noviembre de 2012

An ode to can

We dealt with the problems in distinguishing between the pronunciation of can and can't in a post two years ago, can versus can't. I would recommend you to read all the information we published there before going on with this entry.

Some time ago I came across this motivational video by Tony Colette through David Mearns blog. The emphasis of the video is obviously the great effect a letter may have on our outlook on life. It's not accidental that the type of poem chosen to express this idea is an ode, as odes are lyric poems of some length, usually of a serious or meditative nature and having an elevated style.

For us, English learners, the added value of the poem is getting to grips with discriminating between can and can't, which is no mean feat.

Remember to read the entry can versus can't I told you about before, and pay attention to the stress Colette places on can't, as opposed to can, which is unstressed.

There's a four lettered word
As offensive as any
It holds back the few
Puts a stop to the many.
You can't climb that mountain
You can't cross the sea
You can't become anything you want to be.
He can't hit a century
They can't find a cure.
She can't think about leaving
or searching for more.
Because can't is a word with a habit of stopping
The ebb and flow of ideas
It keeps dropping itself where we know
in our hearts it's not needed
And saying "don't go"
when we could have succeeded.

But those four little letters
That end with a T
They can change in an instant
When shortened to three.
We can take off the T
We can do it today
We can move forward not back
We can find our own way.
We can build we can run
We can follow the sun
We can push we can pull
We can say I'm someone
Who refuses to believe
That life can't be better
With the removal of one
Insignificant letter.