Personify, Months

< Previous | Next >

Sheila.S.A

Member
Persian-Iran
Hi

I'm going to give personality to the months. So which one of the pronouns should be used in this way? Is it optional for the author or not?

September is coming with his/her colourful....?


Thank you.
 
  • Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    I'd never thought about this before, but it seems to me that when we personify inanimate objects (or ideas) we always make them feminine. I can't think of a single example where I'd call something inanimate "he"; (maybe someone else can.)

    [Edit]: I exclude dialect forms (such as Loob will be familiar with :)), where 'e might be used — but then that's just a neuter pronoun, equivalent to "it": it has no real function of personification.

    Ws
     
    Last edited:

    Sheila.S.A

    Member
    Persian-Iran
    Thank you everyone.

    Actually in Persian we do it a lot, specially in literary writing, so even when I'm writing an English text, I'd like to make a personification too.
    For example in Persian Literature, Winter usually is called Cold Grandma (maybe it is not exact in translation) and she has white hair which is made up of snow etc. : )
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Actually in Persian we do it a lot, specially in literary writing,
    It's not unknown in English either. For example, there's the Simon and Garfunkel song, April, Come She Will :

    April, come she will [...] May, she will stay [...] June, she'll change her tune [...] July, she will fly [...] August, die she must [...] ...

    Oh, and they're all "she".

    Ws
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    To be honest, unless you're writing a poem, I really wouldn't personify either months or seasons.

    And if you are writing a poem, your choice will depend on the image you want to convey. In Wordsworth's Keats' To Autumn, for example, autumn is portrayed as a man.



    EDIT Aargh! delete Wordsworth, insert Keats. Shame on me!:eek:
     
    Last edited:

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    In Wordsworth's To Autumn, for example, autumn is portrayed as a man.
    Umm, that's Keats, Loob.:p And I can't see anything there that portrays Autumn as a man.:confused:

    Wordsworth, on the other hand, wrote Thought on the Seasons, in which Spring (... Her loveliest and her last), Summer (... her parting hour) and Autumn (Before she hears the sound ...) are all feminine.

    Coming back to your Keats link, though, reading it did make me realise that astral bodies can be masculine: "Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him ...".
    Then there's "The sun has got his hat on ...", and the Man in the Moon. And if we personified the planets named after male gods (which is most of them), they'd have to be "he".


    [Edit]: I've been thinking about that Keats poem. I suppose that if there were a comma after "sun", it would be possible to read it as the sun conspiring with Autumn. But given the semi-colon (Keats' own or an editor's?), and the general structure of the whole verse, I'm convinced that it means that Autumn is conspiring with the sun.


    Ws
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Back in Keats day, winter was "Old man winter" More recently, these images have softened and been replaced by women (PR, advertising, and the 20th century). The remaining male figure is "The Old Year" who is now infrequently seen as a elderly, thin gent with a scythe whilst the New Year (some Botticellian, cherubic example of androgyny) flits around.

    Here are the seasons by Moucha:


    we have much to thank him for.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    It's the whole of the second stanza, Ws: autumn as a farm worker.
    Ah, like these Keats-era(-ish) farm workers, you mean?;):



    Mind you, I'm not sure how many women were opium smokers in those days: [lines 16-17] 'Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drowsed with the fume of poppies'.:D

    Ws
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top