Thursday, September 13, 2007

Trains, Poetry, Detectives and Wit...

Poetry again! My friend Ranald Noel Paton was inspired to send me these two poems with a railway and a parody connection.

Francis Cornford wrote “ To a fat lady seen from a train”:

O why do you walk through the fields in gloves
Missing so much and so much,
O fat white woman whom nobody loves.
Why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
When the grass is soft as the breasts of doves
And shivering sweet to the touch?
O why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
Missing so much and so much?

G.K.Chesterton clearly thought this was pompous pap and wrote in parody:

Why do you rush through the fields in trains,
Guessing so much and so much.
Why do you flash through the flowery meads,
Fat-head poet that nobody reads;
And why do you know such a frightful lot
About people in gloves as such?

And how the devil can you be sure,
Guessing so much and so much,
How do you know but what someone who loves
Always to see me in nice white gloves
At the end of the field you are rushing by,
Is waiting for his Old Dutch.

Francis Cornford was the granddaughter of Charles Darwin. Chesterton was a prolific writer and besides his, best known, Father Brown short stories about a priest who wasa a part-time detective, he wrote poetry, novels and even articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was once asked by the Times newspaper to write an article on 'What's wrong with the world'. His reply....

Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G. K. Chesterton

1 comment:

Liz said...

What a sensible man!