Flimsy were the Borogroves

jabberwocky
Jabberwocky by John Tenniel

 

Flimsy were the Borogroves

Whenever a line is correctly misquoted,
It’s odds-on much better that way.
The warts-and-all version may be more authentic,
But sometimes the masses must have their say.

To which I say: lead on Macduff,
            Let each subconscious cast its vote.
            Play it again, Sam, let them eat cake –
            I’ll defend to the death your right to misquote.

So: just the facts, ma’am, it’s not always garbles,
It’s sometimes invented from naught but thin air –
Or maybe the right words are placed in the wrong mouth,
For no other reason than simply it’s there.

Oh mirror mirror on the wall,
Crisis, what crisis ?  I cannot tell a lie.
We must disagree: Me Tarzan, you Jane,
So excuse me while I kiss this guy.

But Hell hath no fury quite like the misquoted,
Of being abridged and rewritten by peers.
So brace for their sighs and their tuts and their glances,
And no drop to drink but our blood, sweat and tears.

Some say, of course, “You dirty rat,
You’re letting their corruption win through.
You spare the rod and spoil the child –
Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”

To which I reply “Oh, not tonight, Josephine !
Beam me up, Scotty, from self-righteous bunk !
If you aim for perfection, you’d ask the question –
Do you feel lucky, punk ?”

It’s elementary, my dear Watson –
Survival of the fittest, in fact.
We all gild the lily when we paraphrase the famous –
And not a lot of people know that.

 

 

 

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