Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Famous Poems Abbreviated

I'm back. Well, almost. Still trying to recover from 14 hour long flight back to the US, and catch up on six week's worth of spam, magazines and e-mail. While I get all that cleared up, though, here, from the Humour Issue of 'Peotry' is the always delightful X. J. Kennedy:

Famous Poems Abbreviated

1

Of man's first disobedience and its fruit
Scripture has told. No need to follow suit.

2

Once upon a midnight dreary,
Blue and lonesome, missed my dearie.
Would I find her? Any hope?
Quoth the raven six times, "Nope."

3

Whoosh! - hear the Sea of Faith's withdrawing roar?
So baby, let's make love tonight, not war.

5

Whose woods these are I think I know.
Shall I just sack out in the snow
And freeze? Naaaa, guess I'd better go.

- X. J. Kennedy
[yes, I skipped number 4]

Kennedy also contributes the incredible 'More foolish things remind me of you' - set to a tune that will be instantly recognisable to jazz lovers. An extract:

Theses on archetypes in rapster's lyrics,
Menus describing hash in panegyrics,
Cheap vases aping Mings -
Pretentious things
Remind me of you.
Loud slurping noises from the next apartment,
A critic's lecture on what Hitler's art meant,
Dead snakes the tomcat brings -
Disquieting things
Remind me of you.


Brilliant.

Also, from the same issue, don't miss Dean Young's take on Sean Penn and Billy Collins' take on Irish poetry.

P.S. The prize for inspired abbreviated versions goes, of course, to Wendy Cope, for her version of the Wasteland.



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8 comments:

Cheshire Cat said...

OK, so let me ask the inevitable question: what was wrong with number 4?

Charu said...

heh, cool :) and have you read the txt verisons of classics -

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE : 5Sistrs WntngHsbnds. NwMeninTwn-Bingly&Darcy. Fit&Loadd.BigSis Jane Fals 4B,2ndSisLiz H8s D Coz Hes Proud. Slimy Soljr Wikam Sys DHs Shady Past.Trns Out Hes Actuly ARlyNysGuy &RlyFancysLiz. She Decyds She Lyks Him.Evry1 Gts Maryd.

Had linked to it long go... hard to read but fun, many of these 'txt'

km said...

That parody of "These foolish things" was killer stuff.

(BTW, have you seen Monty Python re-enact famous scenes from literature using semaphore and smoke-signals?)

Falstaff said...

Cat: Nothing, I just didn't think it was that funny. Here it is:

"Who will go drive with Fergus now?
You lazy cocks and cunts,
I thought I'd ask you anyhow.
Well don't all speak at once."

charu: Yes, I did read that.

km: Yes, brilliant stuff. And remember the Monty Python skit - I've never been able to think of Wuthering Heights quite the same way again.

ggop said...

The Sean Penn one was hilarious!
-gg

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