Thursday, 7 August 2014

Shells, conchiglie, rakushka

On holiday it is always enriching to talk to people from other countries. You can easily get to know people from all walks of life and hear about their lives and countries and learn a few words of their languages. Today I learnt how to say rainbow in Russian. It is Raduga. Ra means god of the sun and duga means arch. Rainbow, Raduga, Arcobaleno all sound lovely words because they bring to mind a picture of a multi- coloured arch in the sky that we all love to see all over the world. I also learnt how to say shell in Russian, Rakushka! 
Shell, conchiglia, Rakushka, this reminded me of a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892).It might have been inspired by Shakespeare and his  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet-  from Romeo and Juliet.

See what a lovely shell,
Small and pure as a pearl,
Lying close to my foot,
Frail, but a work divine,
Made so fairily well
With delicate spire and whorl,
How exquisitely minute,
A miracle of design.

What is it? A learned man
Could give it a clumsy name.
Let him name it who can,
The beauty would be the same.

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