Monday, 23 April 2007

Time to go home, Harlot.


Prolixity

By the Bee Gees.

Prolixity!
When your words are wrong and your sentence long,
Prolixity!
When subclauses flow and you can't say no.
The phrases swell
And noone loves a
Polysyllabelle.

Prolixity!
When you're so intense but it makes no sense,
Prolixity!
When your paragraph is a dead giraffe
You just have to edit,
Or noone will
Try to geddit.

Word by word,
There's a burning down inside of me,
Burning pain with a yearning that won't let me be.
Down goes my pen
And I just can't take it all alone.
I really loathe this editing, editing
Editing, editing.

Pedantry!
When apostrophes bring you to your knees,
It's pedantry!
When you insist that it's "its" not "it's".
It's hard to bear
The misuse
Of "they're" and "their".

Pedantry!
When you go to lop down la Malaprop
It's pedantry!
When you roll your eyes and italicise,
When it's just not right
Unless they use
Chicago-style to cite.

Pedantry!

17 comments:

TimT said...

Love the song, and the metaphor in the second stanza, but did you have to anaesthesise the giraffe?

alexis said...

Show me a rhyme for "paragraph" and I show you an unaesthetised giraffe.

alexis said...

Okay, it's pretty jolly terrible, this. But it might just work if you had those Bee Gee boys singing it in counter-tenor with a lot of flash percussion.

TimT said...

You could go Mervyn Peake style and write something completely nonsensical that at the same time makes perfect sense. You know, 'When your paragraph is a honking calf' or something like that. No, no, it's all quite wonderful. Those Bee Gee chaps could pull a lot of things off, but given their ridiculous falsetto tones, I suspect a circumcision that went horribly, horribly wrong.

alexis said...

You're very kind, Tim. To me, if not to the Bee Gees.

I like the sounds of a honking calf. Might save that up for my next spectacular feat of shameless doggerel.

TimT said...

I'm all for the doggerel - woof! Just watch out that it doesn't bite you in the assonance.

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TimT said...

This is it: the Huns are invading! Or maybe the tower of Babel has just fallen, I'm not sure which yet.

alexis said...

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alexis said...

Assonance? Is that something to do with opening one's vowels?

TimT said...

Neigh! Only if you're using American spelling.

But I'm tempted to pull out a poem I wrote a while ago, 'Mein German Teacher', which uses that very joke. I won't - it's more of a live performance thing, and plus, I still haven't thought of a good rhyme for 'disemvowelled'.

alexis said...

"Miss M. scowled"?

wool spaniel said...

Springboarding from that mention of live performance poetry, our dear late Aunty Beryl once (1940s???) penned a piece of Sunday School doggerel that workth exthremely well if rethited out loud with a pronounthed lithp.

It starts off something like this. Lexi, can you remember how it goes? Don't forget the lisp.

Goliath of Gath
With his helment of brass
Was seated one day
Upon the green grass
When along came young David,
A servant of Saul,
And said, "I will smite thee,
Although I be small."
Straightway our young hero
Went down to the brook
And from its still waters
Three smooth stones he took.


Alas, I cannot remember the rest and fear I may even have badly fudged some of the bits already here. I guess it ends up with David slinging the stone, slaughtering the Philistine, and slicing the fallen giant's head off with his sword. Gory, eh.

alexis said...

You remember much more than I do, Woolly. We should get Dad to write down the collected works of Aunty Beryl before he forgets 'em.

TimT said...

Everybody seems to have an Aunty Beryl; I in fact have two of them! But I've yet to encounter a family with an Aunty Beryl Flynn.

My heart's in peril, Beryl!

alexis said...

Two Aunty Beryls! That's most impressive. I think I feel a TimT poem coming on.

Alas, our Aunty Beryl is no more, but her legacy lives on.

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