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Two 20th-century playwrights

¤  George Bernard Shaw   (1856-1950)

Irish dramatist, literary critic, a socialist spokesman, and a leading figure in the 20th century theater. Shaw was a freethinker, a supporter of women’s rights and an advocate of equality of income. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Shaw accepted the honor but refused the money. . .

• • • biography . . . →

That page will give you access to his complete works →

•→  Pygmalion  [audiobook]  ←

A Victorian dialect expert bets that he can teach a lower-class girl to speak proper English and thus be taken for a lady…

←1938 film 

. . . And a later TV version  ↓  (1981)

∇   Hints on Pronunciation for Foreigners  ⇐(poem)

I take it you already know
of tough and bough and cough and dough.
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead-it’s said like bed, not bead.
For goodness sake, don’t call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat.
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for pear and bear.
And then there’s dose and rose and lose
Just look them up–and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and ward.
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go, then thwart and cart.
Come, come I’ve hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Man alive,
I’d mastered it when I was five!

 ¤  Samuel Beckett  [1906 – 1989]WfG

Famously described as a play in which “nothing happens twice”, ‘Waiting for Godot’ scarcely seems recognizable as theatre at all and yet has been called the most significant play of the 20th century.

→ Act I⇐     /     → Act II⇐
s_beckett

∞  A link to other online texts . . . → 

¤  Cascando ↓ [poem]

1
why not merely the despaired of
occasion of
wordshed
is it not better abort than be barren

the hours after you are gone are so leaden
they will always start dragging too soon
the grapples clawing blindly the bed of want
bringing up the bones the old loves
sockets filled once with eyes like yours
all always is it better too soon than never
the black want splashing their faces
saying again nine days never floated the loved
nor nine months
nor nine lives

2
saying again
if you do not teach me I shall not learn
saying again there is a last
even of last times
last times of begging
last times of loving
of knowing not knowing pretending
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love
the churn of stale words in the heart again
love love love thud of the old plunger
pestling the unalterable
whey of words
terrified again
of not loving
of loving and not you
of being loved and not by you
of knowing not knowing pretending
pretending
I and all the others that will love you
if they love you

3
unless they love you

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