Month: July 2008

Mark Eckman

I have a spelling checker It came with my PC It highlights for my review Mistakes I cannot sea. I ran this poem thru it I’m sure your pleased to no Its letter perfect in it’s weigh My checker told me sew. There are a number of different versions, extensions and derivatives of this poem that can be found; however Mark Eckman has confirmed that this is the text of his original.…

Robert Fulford

A print addict is a man who reads in elevators. People occasionally look at me curiously when they see me standing there, reading a paragraph or two as the elevator goes up. To me, it’s curious that there are people who do not read in elevators. What can they be thinking about?…

John Godfrey Saxe

The Blind Men and the Elephant It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind The First approached the Elephant, And happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side, At once began to bawl: God bless me! but the Elephant Is very like a wall! The Second, feeling of the tusk, Cried, Ho! what have we here So very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear This wonder of an Elephant Is very like a spear! The Third approached the animal, And happening to take The squirming trunk within his hands, Thus boldly up and spake: I see, quoth he, the Elephant Is very like a snake! The Fourth reached out an eager hand, And felt about the knee. What most this wondrous beast is like Is mighty plain, quoth he; ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant Is very like a tree! The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said: Even the blindest man Can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can This marvel of an Elephant Is very like a fan!? The Sixth no sooner had begun About the beast to grope, Than, seizing on the swinging tail That fell within his scope, I see, quoth he, the Elephant Is very like a rope! And so these men of Indostan Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong! Moral: So oft in theologic wars, The disputants, I ween, Rail on in utter ignorance Of what each other mean, And prate about an Elephant Not one of them has seen!…

Carl Sandburg

Elephants Are Different to Different People Wilson and Pilcer and Snack stood before the zoo elephant. Wilson said, “What is its name? Is it from Asia or Africa? Who feeds it? Is it a he or a she? How old is it? Do they have twins? How much does it cost to feed? How much does it weigh? If it dies, how much will another one cost? If it dies, what will they use the bones, the fat, and the hide for? What use is it besides to look at?” Pilcer didn’t have any questions; he was murmering to himself, “It’s a house by itself, walls and windows, the ears came from tall cornfields, by God; the architect of those legs was a workman, by God; he stands like a bridge out across the deep water; the face is sad and the eyes are kind; I know elephants are good to babies.” Snack looked up and down and at last said to himself, “He’s a tough son-of-a-gun outside and I’ll bet he’s got a strong heart, I’ll bet he’s strong as a copper-riveted boiler inside.” They didn’t put up any arguments. They didn’t throw anything in each other’s faces. Three men saw the elephant three ways And let it go at that. They didn’t spoil a sunny Sunday afternoon; “Sunday comes only once a week,” they told each other.…

Sir Walter Ralegh

Sir Walter Ralegh To His Son Three things there be that prosper up apace, And flourish while they grow asunder far; But on a day, they meet all in a place, And when they meet, they one another mar. And they be these: the Wood, the Weed, the Wag: The Wood is that that makes the gallows tree; The Weed is that that strings the hangman’s bag; The Wag, my pretty knave, betokens thee. Now mark, dear boy – while these assemble not, Green springs the tree, hemp grows, the wag is wild; But when they meet, it makes the timber rot, It frets the halter, and it chokes the child. Then bless thee, and beware, and let us pray, We part not with thee at this meeting day.…

Billy Collins

Sonnet All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now, and after this one just a dozen to launch a little ship on love’s storm-tossed seas, then only ten more left like rows of beans. How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan and insist the iambic bongos must be played and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines, one for every station of the cross. But hang on here wile we make the turn into the final six where all will be resolved, where longing and heartache will find an end, where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen, take off those crazy medieval tights, blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.…

The Frog

What a wonderful bird the frog are! When he stand he sit almost; When he hop he fly almost. He ain’t got no sense hardly; He ain’t got no tail hardly either. When he sit, he sit on what he ain’t got almost.…

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