Ev’ry, dammit, ev’ry time My ev’ry sports a ’postrophe, You howl and howl my spelling crime As def’nit’ly catostrophe. But still they pop extr’ordin’ry, Dishon’rab’ly, inord’nat’ly, By lis’ning out for how it’s said When diff’rently from how it’s read. So speech shall speak, and I’ll lit’rature obey – Just deal with it, you soph’mores – cos the commas stay !
1. You are so wrong, so very very wrong, To think that rhymes wreck the verse. Sure, they get used where they don’t belong, And when ill-used are a curse. And yes, they take their time to mature In the life of the poet’s pen – They cannot be nervous, must always be sure, And practiced agen and agen.
2. They write their verses blank and free, And barely bait the hook; But Keats and Frost and Tennyson Can still be grasped by anyone. They write their verses free and blank, And barely sell a book; While Blake and Burns and Betjamin Can still sell-out and fetch ’em in.
3. I tell myself, its cos they rhyme – They hate me that, they hate me that. I know my verse is in its prime – They must see that, they must see that. But still they always get rejected, While some prosy tripe’s selected. Must be just how I suspected – Must be that, it must be that.
We used to be just simple merchants – Iron, fish, and cheese, And jack-of-produce costermen – Traders in the bare necessities. But now we’re only spoken off As rumour, scare, and war – We’re jack-the-lads shadowmen, Hawking abstract concepts door-to-door.
Year after year, our language is changing
And drifting yet further from Shakespeare’s day,
Making it harder to known of his meaning,
Making obscure as we’re slipping away.
Writings updated retain all their meaning,
But lose all their diction and word-play and flow –
So when only scholars can read still this poem,
Then do not translate it, but just let me go.
There’s no-one who knows you like you do,
Though there’s plenty who’ll pretend –
They’ll tell you what you’re sure to love,
With the well-meant failure of a friend.
They’ll assume their taste is universal,
For who could ever disagree ?
But never trust anyone else with your choices,
And that includes even me.
Flatland always had all three,
All three dimensions on it –
Anyone with sense can see
The Flatoids are upon it !
It’s true, they barely used the zed,
But still the zed was there –
But as for other strings that thread,
These cannot cube the square.