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Name That Poem


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John Hegley?

Correct, Adrian.

 

and with night drawing in

we began drawing him,

the dog not the man down below,

which appeared on the snow of our pages,

out of the lead of our pencils,

and yours was 2B

and mine was 2B,

and I said we were 2B together,

and you told me 2B quiet.

 

Do you know the poem?

Clue - one of his themes frozen.

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Do you know the poem?

Clue - one of his themes frozen.

No, but I recognised your description of him, especially the glasses and the way he performs his poems, and it just sounded like one of his. Still couldn't name the poem, though.

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Hi - this one seemed to fade away. I guess a question is only easy if one has read the poem.

 

This was 'The Snowman's Dog' by John Hegley. It's about a dog made of snow that Hegley refers to as Snowdog (hence the clue 'It's no dog').

 

However Adrian did guess the poet a while back. Would you take us on with the next question please, Adrian?

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It has a sort of Ogden Nash feel about it (i.e. animals and slightly silly), but I don't know it so that's nothing more than a wild guess!

 

Edit: revisiting this I'm not sure that's right - the Nash I know is usually tighter: that longer second line doesn't seem in keeping.

 

Anyway, I'm rambling...

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Not O.N. but I can see why you thought of him. Maybe if I keep working my way back up the poem:

 

The police they put him in a cell, but it was far too small,

So they tied him to a lampost and he slept against the wall.

But as the policemen lay sleeping by the twinkling light of dawn,

The lampost and the wall were there, but the elephant was gone!

 

So if you see an elephant, in a Jumbo Jet,

You can be sure that Africa's the place he's trying to get!

 

it might help.

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But as the policemen lay sleeping by the twinkling light of dawn,

The lampost and the wall were there, but the elephant was gone!

So, someone who would rhyme gone with dawn...not from Birmingham, then!

 

My initial thought is that it sounds like Spike Milligan. My husband is a fan, but I can't be bothered to get up and look in his Milligan books.

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Correct meg!

 

Jumbo Jet - Spike Milligan

 

I saw a little elephant standing in my garden,

I said 'You don't belong in here', he said 'I beg you pardon?',

I said 'This place is England, what are you doing here?',

He said 'Ah, then I must be lost' and then 'Oh dear, oh dear'.

 

'I should be back in Africa, on Saranghetti's Plain',

'Pray, where is the nearest station where I can catch a train?'.

He caught the bus to Finchley and then to Mincing lane,

And over the Embankment, where he got lost, again.

 

The police they put him in a cell, but it was far too small,

So they tied him to a lampost and he slept against the wall.

But as the policemen lay sleeping by the twinkling light of dawn,

The lampost and the wall were there, but the elephant was gone!

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OK, try this for size:

Were you ever out in the Great Alone,

When the moon was awful clear,

And the icy mountains hemmed you in

With a silence you 'most could hear;

With only the howl of a timber wolf,

And you camped there in the cold,

A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world,

Clean mad for the muck called gold;

While high overhead, green, yellow and red,

The North Lights swept in bars? --

Then you've a hunch what the music meant . . .

Hunger and night and the stars.

Another ballad-type poem, but a long way from Cornwall this time :D
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Correct Tregeagle.

I had trouble deciding whether to use that verse from Dan McGrew or one from The Cremation of Sam McGee

 

Anyway, here's the whole sad story of

"THE SHOOTING OF DAN MCGREW"

 

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;

The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;

Back at the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,

And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.

 

When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,

There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog dirty, and loaded for bear.

He looked like a man with a foot in the grave, and scarcely the strength of a louse,

Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks on the house.

There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;

But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

 

There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;

And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;

With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,

As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.

Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do,

And I turned my head -- and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.

 

His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,

Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wondering gaze.

The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,

So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.

In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;

Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands -- my God! but that man could play!

 

Were you ever out in the great alone, when the moon was awful clear,

And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;

With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,

A half-dead thing in the stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;

While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars?--

Then you've got a hunch what the music meant ... hunger and night and the stars.

 

And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans;

But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;

For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;

But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned with a woman's love;

A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true --

(God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, -- the lady that's known as Lou.)

 

Then all of a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;

But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;

That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;

That your guts were gone, and the best of you was to crawl away and die.

'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and through --

"I guess I'll make it a spread misere," said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

 

The music almost died away ... then it burst like a pent-up flood;

And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay," and my eyes were blind with blood.

The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,

And the lust awoke to kill, to kill ... then the music stopped with a crash,

And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;

In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;

 

Then his lips went in in a kind of a grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm;

And, "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn;

But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're true,

That one of you is a hound of hell ... and that one is Dan McGrew."

 

Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;

And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark;

Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,

While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the Lady that's known as Lou.

 

These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know;

They say that the stranger was crazed with "hooch," and I'm not denying it's so.

I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two --

The woman that kissed him -- and pinched his poke -- was the lady that's known as Lou.

 

By Robert Wm. Service (1874-1958).

 

 

_______________________________

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On the assumption that I'm right, try:

 

"Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind ...

...

And graven with diamonds in letters plain

There is written her fair neck round about:

'Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,

And wild to hold, though I seem tame'."

 

Tregeagle, this is bugging me, because aeons ago I've read this. Is it 16th or 17th century?

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On the assumption that I'm right, try:

 

"Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind ...

...

And graven with diamonds in letters plain

There is written her fair neck round about:

'Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,

And wild to hold, though I seem tame'."

 

 

That's Sir Thomas Wyatt. One of the poems supposedly written to/about Anne Boleyn.

 

And I am sure that's right so

 

Laura stretched her gleaming neck

Like a rush-imbedded swan,

Like a lily from the beck,

Like a moonlit poplar branch,

Like a vessel at the launch

When its last restraint is gone.

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Yes, Tregeagle, Walter de la Mare is spot on...

 

The poem is simply called "Nod". It begins:

 

SOFTLY along the road of evening,

In a twilight dim with rose,

Wrinkled with age, and drenched with dew

Old Nod, the shepherd, goes.

 

Something else we'd learned at school...

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