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Monday, April 04, 2005


I was desperate for some bit of life-related guidance, so I opened The New Oxford Book of English Verse and read the first lines I saw. It was a poem by Leigh Hunt. See:

O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,
What is't ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles?
How do ye vary your vile days and nights?
How pass your Sundays?

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the speaker was interrogating a fish. I don't give two toots what fish do on Sundays, so I didn't even read the fish's reply. Instead, I took the liberty of writing my own bit of verse:

O Leigh Hunt, ye are a cunt.
Ye irritate me deeply.

I was so pleased with my poem that I immediately typed it and mailed it off to Oxford University Press. They are certain to include it in The New New Oxford Book of English Verse. I need only sit back and wait for the checks to pour in. What a bluestocking I am! Satisfying.


Anonymous The Wordy Bird said...

I don't get it. Is one to recite the poem to the fish while holding it in some sort of slippery, flippery "alas, poor Yorick" reenactment? Or does one sit lakeside and recite to the fish therein, perhaps following up by tossing some celery (always the stalks; never chopped) at them in encouragement of a reply? (Come to think of it, very few of the freshwater species are much given to reciting verse.)

It makes one wonder if the fine Oxford folks even bother to field test the material they publish...

10:46 PM  
Blogger Esther Wilberforce-Packard said...

Terrible amateurs at Oxford University Press, wouldn't you say? The anthology above didn't even include Gertrude Pfaff's seminal 77-line opus "Let's Put Our Feet on the Pot Roast," or Coleridge's "Ain't No Mutton Dressed as Lamb, She Be My Mother."

11:16 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

This reminds me of my favorite nursery rhyme:

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
"Cinderella sat on his face."

Free verse. Doesn't have to rhyme, according to Ambrose Beirce.

12:07 PM  
Blogger gatsby said...

packard said "cunt."

4:07 PM  
Blogger gatsby said...

packard, my brother, who reads your meanderings as though submarine positions were folded into them, has suggested to me that that last bit of nacho/taco tripe was in fact a very delicately knit spider's web of carnal lustery.
-that your slyly commenting on the crushy comments slopped all over this blog.
-that you're obviously aware of the multitude of boobs huddled around your bloggy campfire, and this is your high-hatted dismisal of said boobery.
is it true?
because i spot an occasional metaphor, and re-read, my brother's assessment may be spot on...
MY GOD PACKARD! if you're this clever, then truly my crush on your fictional identity will burst like so many stock cars into the flames of unbriddled passion that you so don't desire as it's possible you're a lesbian, thereby explaining the "taco" imagery.
either way a bunch of us are getting together every sunday to sip tea to dissect your musings and speak of your beautiful mind.
afterwards we will drink whiskey and play football for the weeks possession of a commisioned trophy to be titled "the packard cup."

6:35 PM  

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