[LMB] Literary Lions and poetry OT: Was Rappers

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Wed Aug 28 01:20:31 BST 2019

Governor General BRYANT breaks into
>  "The Lion and Albert" by Marriott Edgar ...
With which I was heretofore unfamiliar.  I feel 
the text calls for illustrations by Maurice Sendak. A
dramatic recitation would be a treat.  Lke this:
>But what about Thomas Macaulay, Tennyson, and 
>G K Chesterton?
That's a deficiency of the education system. It limits
the available menu. As the school cafeteria offers,
you can have chicken or fish sticks. That burgers or
pizzas or tofu exist is not the point. The benevolent
masters of the institution have provided you a choice;
now make a decision, celebrate and be glad. 
The limits to literary menus are different now than in
my youth, I realize.  The narrative poem, particularly
of adventurous souls doing daring deeds, is much
the literary territory of white males.  To include the
product of Alice Walker or Toni Morrison, we sacrifice 
Edgar Albert Guest or Ogden Nash, and perhaps properly 
so.  Why would this:

Somebody said that it couldnt be done,
    But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldnt," but he would be one
    Who wouldnt say so till hed tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldnt be done, and he did it.
Have any preference over this: ?
I am not seaworthy.
 Look how the fish mistake my hair for home.
I had a life, like you. I shouldnt be riding the sea.
 I am not seaworthy.
Let me be earth bound; star fixed
 Mixed with sun and smacking air.
Give me the smile, the magic kiss
 To trick little boy death of my hand.
I am not seaworthy. Look how the fish 
 mistake my hair 
  for home.
Were the world more nearly ideal 
 in offering a poem or meal
  the child's parents' voices
    would guide a child's choices.
     For now, grease the squeakiest wheel.

ANYHOW,  rappers may be filling the gap.  I'm
sure some lyricists (perhaps NOT distinct from 
rappers, I'm not sure) do so.  A poet/
lyricist of the last century, no Dante,
nevertheless sketched a horror of some
kind of purgatory that in the original
is terrifying, and in the musical version,
hilarious.  Compare
And the sort of children's book about comical lions
that mustn't EVER be available in 21st century 
grade school libraries:
Listen to Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.
Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
      Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.

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