Saturday, April 09, 2016

NPM Celebrations - Name Yourself Day

April 9th is Name Yourself Day. While this holiday is referenced on a number of national calendar and "unofficial holiday" web sites, I can't find any information about where it began or why. I have friends who give themselves a new name every time they place an order at Starbucks, but I've never been inclined to give myself a new name. I do know that when my parents learned they would be getting a new baby (I was adopted), my mother wanted to name me Julie. I'm glad my father and siblings prevailed, as I like my name!

In  honor of today's celebration, here are some poems about names. Surely you know we must begin with Shakespeare!

Romeo and Juliet
Act II. Scene II.

(Juliet is speaking.)

’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part      
Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes      
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

When I thought about name poems, the poem that came to mind after Shakespeare was The Naming of Cats, by T.S. Eliot. Click below to hear Eliot read it.

My Name is Jorge On Both Sides of the River, written by Jane Medina and illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck, is a collection of 27 poems written in Spanish and English. They are written from Jorge's point of view and describe his experiences adjusting life in the United States. The poems are sometimes heartbreaking, but they are always honest. The first poem in the book describes the problems he has when others cannot pronounce his name.
Me llamo Jorge

Me llamo Jorge.
Sé que mi nombre
                         es Jorge.
Pero todos me llaman

¡Qu´feo sonido! 
¡Como un estornudo!

Y lo peor do todo
                         es que
hoy en la mañana
                         una niña me llamó.

y volteé la cabeza.
No quiero convertirme
                        en un estornudo.
My Name Is Jorge

My name is Jorge.
I know that my name is Jorge.
But everyone calls me

What an ugly sound!
Like a sneeze!

And the worst of all
            is that
this morning
            a girl called me
            and I turned my head.
I don’t want to turn
            into a sneeze!
Poem © Jane Medina, 1999. All rights reserved.

Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems / Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno, written by Francisco Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, is the 4th book in a series that highlights family and community through the changing seasons.
San Francisco

yo me llamo
como mi abuelo

y como
el abuelo
de su abuelo

cómo me alegro
que esta ciudad
lleve el nombre

de San Francisco—
el santo patrón
de los animales

aquí mi nombre
todos lo saben
San Francisco

my name is
Francisco like
my grandfather

and like
his grandfather's

I'm so happy
this city is
named after

Saint Francis—
the patron saint
of all animals

here everybody
knows how to
spell my name
Poem © Francisco X. Alarcón, 2001. All rights reserved.

I'll end today on a somber note, with this poem by Billy Collins.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me tomorrow for our next celebration.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't heard of this day before! I remember a man who changed his name to Zippidee DooDah (not sure about the spelling). My son suggested that someone who really likes statistics could change their name to Boxen Whisker Plot. The possibilities are endless...