Thursday, September 07, 2006

Never Mind the Bellocs

From the latest New Statesman:
The BBC News 24 political correspondent James Landale could be in for a ribbing from chums at Westminster with the October publication of his book Cautionary Tales: comic verse for the 21st century. With lyrical takes on subjects such as binge drinking, text messaging and shopaholism, he's being marketed by his publishers, Canongate, as a modern-day Hilaire Belloc. (In fact, the cover has the strapline "Never mind the Bellocs - here's James Landale".)

But will he live up to the billing? Judge for yourself:

"If you shop until you drop
One day the trust fund will stop."

Another verse, on the vexed question of nose-picking, reads:

"Orificial exploration
Is but good in moderation."

Perhaps it would be wise to hang on to the day job.

Hmm. I've Judged for myself. Never mind Landale (but it just doesn't have that Sex Pistols ring to it).


Liz said...

Perhaps he's been watching too many Seinfeld re-runs.

Joe said...

Re-reading Belloc has to beat watching a Seinfeld re-run.

And so you can, here and now, just for fun:

Rebecca Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably

A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker's little daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this furious sport.

She would deliberately go
And slam the door like billy-o!
To make her uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild;
She was an aggravating child…

It happened that a marble bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the door this little lamb
Had carefully prepared to slam,
And down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that.

Her funeral sermon (which was long
And followed by a sacred song)
Mentioned her virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her vices too,
And showed the deadful end of one
Who goes and slams the door for fun.

The children who were brought to hear
The awful tale from far and near
Were much impressed, and inly swore
They never more would slam the door,
— As often they had done before.

Nick Milne said...

I find the appalling quality of the sampled works wholly unsurprising. We live in an age that has actual disdain for beautiful poetry of any kind, it would seem, and this is beginning to tell in our modern productions of it. Students go through their academic careers having it pounded into their heads that poems don't have to rhyme - or even make sense or be pleasing in any way - and that the poems of old that do this, and are found admirable, are to be admired, it would seem, in spite of their construction, content and authorship.

I do what I can to stem this tide of sludge, but I'm only one man.

Anonymous said...

Furor,I saw this request on the American Papist blog and thought you might help this person. Lily

"I'm looking for some feed back. As a lay person I was hopeing that you will take a look at some of my spiritual poems and let me know what you think about them. I am still writing them and hope that when I get to 100 I will try to get them published somewhere. Thank you for your time David

David E. Patton | Homepage | 09.07.06 - 4:19 pm | #