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And now for a little light verse...

OK, after some solemn storytelling over the past few weeks it is probably time for some light verse. I mentioned Gelett Burgess in passing a while back. He wrote quite a few other works in addition to his infamous Purple Cow. When I get a chance, I’ll parse through his many books and add a few pieces. In the mean time I’ve added a few poems by Arthur Guiterman, and American poet, born in Austria in 1871 (a year that seems to have spawned numerous poets). He too was a prolific poet with a dozen or so books and serialization in The New Yorker magazine.


Guiterman has a similar light touch of humor, whether he’s spoofing Marlowe, as in The Passionate Suburbanite To His Love, or whether he’s needling germophobic parents, as in Strictly Germ-proof (an apt selection in todays’s age of ‘Global Pandemic’ mania) which includes the lines:

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

The “it” by the way, was a rabbit. Even when Guiterman’s thoughts turn to mortality, it is in a humorous way, sort of a lighter version of Dorothy Parker, as in this poem:

On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness

THE tusks which clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.

The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is Ferric Oxide, known as rust.

The grizzly bear, whose potent hug,
Was feared by all, is now a rug.

Great Caesar's bust is on the shelf,
And I don't feel so well myself.

Guiterman had a thoughtful side as well, poems such as In the Hospital and Heritage are good examples. Heritage, by the way, would be a good choice for Earth Day.

Also added recently are a poem by John Hall Wheelock, and two by John Gould Fletcher.

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