Your complimentary articles
You’ve read one of your four complimentary articles for this month.
You can read four articles free per month. To have complete access to the thousands of philosophy articles on this site, please
A Yorkshire Wittgenstein
If Ludwig Wittgenstein had come from Yorkshire, what might his Tractatus have been like? Dr G.E.B. Smith imagines.
T’World is all that is the case
And nothing that it ain’t.
If summat else it proved to be
What’s sense in that for thee and me?
(’Appen we might feel faint.)
If World weren’t everything there is
There’d be some other spot
Where all the missing bits ’d be –
Say, cricket bats and Yorkshire tea –
Tha’d never know just what.
If World lacks things it ought to ’ave
’Appen we’ve missed some boats.
But mind, we’d not know what was wrong –
It’s bloody ’ard to sing a song
When tha knows not words nor notes.
T’World lacks things we’d like to have,
So speculative folk
Goes on as though it’s right to spout
O’ things they can’t know owt about –
Bout which nowt’s to be spoke.
If World were bigger than it is,
T’d not be safe to roam.
When off tha went to pub at night,
The mile it took to get there might
Turn into five miles ’ome
If World were smaller than it is,
If nowt but modest bit,
Tha might buy boots o’ just thy size
An’ then at ’ome, to thy surprise,
Find out they didn’t fit.
If World were older than it is
Tha’d never know for sure
That Tuesday morn weren’t Sunday night –
Or that the day tha first saw light
Weren’t eighty years before
If World were younger than it is
Last week might not be gorn
An’ next July be years away –
Tha might wake up one sunny day
An’ find tha’d not been born.
No – World is all that is the case
An’ best wi’ nowt took out,
For if tha took a bit away
Let’s say tha took the light o’day –
There’d be no view of owt.
No – World’s much better as it is
With what tha finds therein –
That way tha knows there’s ’olemeal bread,
Aye – cheese an’ beer with frothy ’ead –
And place to park it in.
© Dr G.E.B Smith 2005