The Name Changer

Inspired by a former student who changed the spelling of her name a number of times.
( dashes inserted to help indicate speech pauses for rhythmic emphasis )

My creative friend from Russia, she liked to play a game,
In which she kept on switching - how she spelled her name.
From month to month and year to year, - it never looked the same,
And the pro-nun-cia-tion of it was - quite diff-i-cult to tame.

She started with Ioulia, I thought she said, “I, - Ooolia”,
So I replied, “I, - Ron”, - but of course I didn’t fool her.
Then the “I” gave way to “J”- as she became a gem,
And as Jewel-ia she glittered, again and then again.

Next the Jew-el became a Jule, which rhymed quite well with mule,
Then Jul-ia turned to Yul-ia, - just like the Christmas Yule,
And so they had to change once more - all her records in the school.
But with the latest switch, - we shouted a big hurrah,
When she spelled her name as Yul-ya, whose ending rhymes with “Ha!”
Yet it also sounds like the German “yes”, when they say “Ya! Ya!”

So Yul - ya seemed phonetic now, - ending in a pleasant “yes”,
But there’s still an ambiguity we really must address.
Is it Yul -ya or Yuly - a? - so we have another mess,
And what the name could morph to next is anybody’s guess.

Ronald P. Milito
© February 2, 2008