“The Chaos” (full poem) in a British English accent (with subtitles / captions)


Hello and welcome. My name is Chris. This is Learn British English Free on Youtube. This lesson is again about ‘The Chaos’
– this special poem written in English about difficulties in pronunciation. I’ve made two videos before about this poem
– the first one is my first attempt – I did
not practise and I made many mistakes. It shows it is difficult. Lots of the words are old and confusing to
pronounce so native speakers like me can get them wrong. The second one – I published it recently
before this – and I got everything correct because I checked
it before. Now, though, I’m doing the full version. The ones before were a bit shorter. This time I’m going to read the whole poem. Many of the words are old, like I said. For
example: conduit – I think it sounds different to
how it sounded before, but we always say conduit – not ‘con-dit’. You can try to read with me, using the subtitles
or captions; now, let’s try ‘The Chaos’ the full
version. Here we go, good luck: Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse
I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye your dress you’ll tear, So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,
Pray, console your loving poet, Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, beard and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade, Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak, Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via, Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir,
Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery: Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles. Exiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing. Thames, examining, combining
Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war, and far.
From “desire”: desirable–admirable from “admire.”
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier. Chatham, brougham, renown, but
known. Knowledge, done, but gone and tone,
One, anemone. Balmoral. Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,
Gertrude, German, wind, and mind. Scene, Melpomene, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather, Reading, reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch,
ninth, plinth. Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet; Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would. Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which is said to rhyme with “sparky.” Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad.
Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s O.K.,
When you say correctly: croquet. Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive, and live, Liberty, library, heave, and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven, We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover, Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police, and lice. Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label, Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal. Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit,
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it.” But it is not hard to tell,
Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall. Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion, Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and
chair, Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous, clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer.
Pussy, hussy, and possess, Desert, but dessert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants. Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger. Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt. Font, front, won’t, want, grand, and
grant. Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger.
And then: singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age. Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath. Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual. Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight,
height; Put, nut; granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer, Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late, Hint, pint, Senate, but sedate.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific,
Tour, but our and succour, four, Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, guinea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria,
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay. Say aver, but ever, fever.
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver. Never guess–it is not safe:
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph. Heron, granary, canary,
Crevice and device, and eyrie, Face but preface, but efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging,
Ear but earn, and wear and bear Do not rhyme with here, but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk, Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation–think of psyche! Is a paling, stout and spikey,
Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing “groats” and saying “grits”?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel, Strewn with stones, like rowlock,
gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict, and indict! Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father? Finally: which rhymes with “enough”
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of “cup.” My advice is: give it up! That is ‘The Chaos’ – the full poem. My name is Chris. I’m from the south of England and the pronunciation of the words is in that
way. All of the words should be correct. I tried
my best. Please leave a comment, write your feedback, let me know if there are any problems. Thank you for watching. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel, Learn
British English Free; you can also learn with me on Facebook, it’s
called the British English Page. My website is www.learnbritishenglish.co.uk We also have websites on Tumblr, Twitter,
Google Plus and Instagram, many others… Please look on YouTube in the description. You can click on the links to go. Please share,
invite your friends – everyone is welcome. I will be back soon with more videos. I will see you then. Bye for now.

14 thoughts on ““The Chaos” (full poem) in a British English accent (with subtitles / captions)

  1. As this is my favourite interpretation of THE CHAOS, I would appreciate if you were to publish the text in the description… some lines of what you recite do no appear in the subtitles, not sure if it's my laptop doing this or they are missing….

  2. Well done, Chris! Anyone thinking this is easy should have a go themselves at pronouncing the whole poem. English pronunciation can indeed be challenging, even for native speakers. I didn't realise quite how hard it was until I recorded a version of The Chaos myself. You are right a lot of the words are unfamiliar to the modern ear and I do believe some of the words are pronounced slightly differently than nearly 100 years ago when Trenite wrote it 😀👍

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