Monday, November 16, 2009

Two tickles to the funny bone

Appreciation of poetry isn't quite up my fairway. I have neither the ear for it nor the education. But occasionally, I come across verses that tickle a little something. This past week I came across two devilishly funny poems that made me jump up and down in sheer delight. See if you enjoy them too.

The first is a recommendation from Z, a regular at Brick and Rope. Much grateful Z! I couldn't agree more with Ogden Nash as the father of a little girl.

Song To Be Sung by the Father of Infant Female Children

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Contrariwise, my blood runs cold
When little boys go by.
For little boys as little boys,
No special hate I carry,
But now and then they grow to men,
And when they do, they marry.
No matter how they tarry,
Eventually they marry.
And, swine among the pearls,
They marry little girls.

Oh, somewhere, somewhere, an infant plays,
With parents who feed and clothe him.
Their lips are sticky with pride and praise,
But I have begun to loathe him.
Yes, I loathe with loathing shameless
This child who to me is nameless.
This bachelor child in his carriage
Gives never a thought to marriage,
But a person can hardly say knife
Before he will hunt him a wife.

I never see an infant (male),
A-sleeping in the sun,
Without I turn a trifle pale
And think is he the one?
Oh, first he'll want to crop his curls,
And then he'll want a pony,
And then he'll think of pretty girls,
And holy matrimony.
A cat without a mouse
Is he without a spouse.

Oh, somewhere he bubbles bubbles of milk,
And quietly sucks his thumbs.
His cheeks are roses painted on silk,
And his teeth are tucked in his gums.
But alas the teeth will begin to grow,
And the bubbles will cease to bubble;
Given a score of years or so,
The roses will turn to stubble.
He'll sell a bond, or he'll write a book,
And his eyes will get that acquisitive look,
And raging and ravenous for the kill,
He'll boldly ask for the hand of Jill.
This infant whose middle
Is diapered still
Will want to marry My daughter Jill.

Oh sweet be his slumber and moist his middle!
My dreams, I fear, are infanticiddle.
A fig for embryo Lohengrins!
I'll open all his safety pins,
I'll pepper his powder, and salt his bottle,
And give him readings from Aristotle.
Sand for his spinach I'll gladly bring,
And Tabasco sauce for his teething ring.
Then perhaps he'll struggle through fire and water
To marry somebody else's daughter.

Delightfully sweet! Wicked, rude, and oh-so-true!

The second poem I came across was in Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth. (Who knew, the guy has a sense of humor too.) Dawkins of course is an evolutionary biologist, and by definition, a disbeliever of creationist dogma. He is also an avowed and outspoken atheist. All of which is useful in understanding his quoting of this poem below in his latest book on the evidence for evolution.

This is a parody of the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful written by Cecil Alexander. This parody is written by Eric Idle and John du Prez and was performed by the inimitable Monty Python.

All Things Dull and Ugly

All things dull and ugly
All creatures short and squat
All things rude and nasty
The Lord God made the lot

Each little snake that poisons
Each little wasp that stings
He made their brutish venom
He made their horrid wings

All things sick and cancerous
All evil great and small
All things foul and dangerous
The Lord God made them all

Each nasty little hornet
Each beastly little squid
Who made the spiky urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did

All things scabbed and ulcerous
All pox both great and small
Putrid, foul and gangrenous
The Lord God made them all.


I have said this before and I will say it again. I am a practicing believer. But I don't mean to be an ass about it. It is OK to laugh about 'the Lord God'. And admit it - All Things Dull and Ugly is hilarious.


  1. I think you are a closet atheist, come out now :)


  2. Please please may I run the second poem on my poetry blog ? take a look at the stuff on the blog, it's

    p.s. Were you ever a member of the minstrels ? It was the most awesome mailing list ever. Unfortunately the trio that runs has stopped sending out poems.


  3. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Jairam. I am visiting your blog for the first time today.

    Do have a "dekko" at my blog too when you get the time - you might find it a little dull, serious and boring but nevertheless...



  4. @Z: Of course - feel free to run it on your blog. And no, I wasn't part of minstrels, but have occasionally seen great peoms from your email ID that probably originated there.
    @ Vish: Great to see you here Vish! And happy to see that you are enjoying Brick and Rope. I will see you on your blog!

  5. cool. thanks.