Rush-That-Speaks (rushthatspeaks) wrote,

adventures in bad poetry

[personal profile] nineweaving recently gave me John Julius Norwich's Christmas Crackers, which is a commonplace book filled with the quotations Norwich has, for many years, collected and typed out as Christmas cards and crackers (the store-bought ones don't say much interesting, usually). It's a very good commonplace book, distinguished by being funnier and more impressive than those usually get, and I am treating it as one should treat commonplace books, i.e. opening it occasionally at random, giggling, and putting it down again. In no circumstance do I intend to read it straight through, because then what would there be to boggle at when I pick it off the shelf and open it randomly in a few years or decades?

Anyway, as good commonplace books do, it collects bad poetry as well as good, and I opened it to something so thoroughly appalling that the selection has been stuck in my head for more than a week. I truly think this belongs in the annals of terrible verse with William Topaz McGonagall and Julia Ann Moore, for the comma splices if for nothing else (and there is else). I showed it to Ruth, and spent the next five minutes desperately wishing for a video camera; I really thought they were going to throw the book out of the window.

I warned you. I had to type this out with my own ten fingers.

The lack of line divisions is in the original.

From The Fragrant Minute for Every Day by Wilhelmina Stitch


On November 14th the wife of ______ gave to the world a dear little lady baby.- Birth Announcement.

'A Lady Baby came today.' What words are quite so nice to say? They make one smile, they make one pray for Lady Baby's happiness.'Today a Lady Baby came.' We have not heard her winsome name, we can address her all the same as Lady Baby-Come-To-Bless.

When Lady Baby came to earth, her home was filled with joy and mirth. There's not a jewel of half the worth of Lady Baby-to-Caress. We're glad that Lady Baby's here, for at this sunless time of year there's naught that brings such warmth and cheer as Lady Baby's daintiness.

Hush! Lady Baby's fast asleep, the friendly fire-flames dance and leap and angel's wings above her sweep as on her eyes a kiss they press. 'A Lady Baby!' Lovely phrase, it means she'll have such gentle ways, and grow to goodness all her days - may God this Lady Baby bless!

- Christmas Crackers, John Julius Norwich, p. 130

As a reward, and to help restore you to health and sanity after that, I shall leave you with the statement of the Rev. Sidney Smith found on p. 186 of the same collection:

"I must believe in the Apostolic Succession, there being no other way of accounting for the descent of the Bishop of Exeter from Judas Iscariot."

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