A writing exercise: write a paragraph to a page of narrative that’s meant to be read aloud. Author’s note: this was written originally by hand in full sentences, but when I went to type it out, the spacing that follows, poetic as it may be, just made more sense.
Capio, capere, cepi, captum:
Latin, on paper, could gloom a candied child.
The words, unordered, encumbered with tension;
wait, what declension is this?
But say it out loud and hear it
sing with sonorous macrons and diphthongs.
The softened ‘c’ and ‘z’ of Caesar on paper
becomes KAI-sar! A much more formidable conqueror,
who said not ‘veni, vidi, vici,’ but ‘way-nee weedy weeky!’
Making the conqueror slightly less so.
Let alone cases—the grace of cases
and the multitude of places they might be set.
Genitive of, accusative to,
and the vocative. Oh, the vocative.
‘Voco, vocare!’ the vocative calls.
The case of direct address does not subtly request.
As with the Romans, we hail! We speak with fire,
we know not of acquiescence.
For this is the language of wars, victors, and history makers.
Two thousand years later and we learn it still.
So even as I soak in it silently,
there is fair Kai-sar, musing in my mind’s ear,
whispering stories of his homeland,
demanding and commanding that I properly respond:
Out loud! Booming! And Conquering
one flash card at a time.