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From the poems of Guy W. Carryl

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April 03, 2006, 06:53
From the poems of Guy W. Carryl
This week we'll enjoy the humorous poetry of Guy Wetmore Carryl, who wrote take-offs of famous fairy-tales and fables. Carryl is little-known, for he made the ultimate career mistake: he died young, in 1904, aged 31. His books are long out of print, and we will be taking our words from poems that are nowhere to be found on the web.

lacerate – to irregularly tear or deeply cut flesh (also )figurative, for mental pain)
coping – the course of brick on top of a wall (usually sloping)
pungent – sharply strong in smell or taste; also, of remarks: cutting and caustic
[poem to be completed tomorrow]
April 03, 2006, 07:35
Robert Arvanitis
I beg to differ. On death that is.

Dying young has been excellent career move for many, including James Dean, Jim Morrison and Sid Vicious among others.

(Not to mention Hotblack Desiato, who spent a year dead for tax reasons.)

April 03, 2006, 09:12
I could only think of the London estate agents named Hotblack Desiato so I wondered what you were talking about. A little Googling enlightened me. I'd forgotten the character in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Apparently Douglas Adams was wondering what to call the character and almost crashed his car when he saw their name above one of their offices. He asked for permission to use their name, but ironically the firm often get contacted by people convinced they are cashing in on the book. Cool

Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
April 03, 2006, 09:38
Hotblack Desiato (the Estate Agent) also plays a major part, if memory serves, in one of the three plot strands of Iain Banks's Walking on Glass.

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
April 03, 2006, 21:27
I would say it did a lot of good for Kurt Cobain.

As for THGTTG, we should reference it more. I'd think people from England would cite it more often.
April 04, 2006, 06:52
epithet – a characterization, used to stand for the thing mentioned; e.g. Catherine the Great (can be abusisive)

bric-à-brac – miscellaneous objects of little value; typically ornamental
[From old Fr. phrase à bric et à brac at random, any old way.]

Concluding Carryl's vulpine (fox-related) story:
April 05, 2006, 06:45
Carryl tells the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

dolce far niente – pleasant idleness [Ital: 'sweet doing nothing']

flippannt – not showing the proper seriousness or respect [As Pooh Bah said,
. . . . ."I think you ought to recollect
. . . . .You cannot show too much respect
. . . . .Towards the highly titled few;
. . . . .But nobody does, and why should you?"]

torpid – sluggish, in mind or in body [noun: torpor]We continue tomorrow with the conclusion of this exciting race.
April 06, 2006, 05:55
terrapin – one of certain small freshwater turtles
[Algonquin. The earlier form, torope, had by coincidence curious simlarity to torpor.]
expeditious – quick and efficient
unction – excessive, ingratiating compliments, a kind of "oiliness"

As we resume the tale of the exciting race, the hare speaks.
April 06, 2006, 09:44
Duncan Howell
unction – excessive, ingratiating compliments, a kind of "oiliness"

Considering that "unction" also (perhaps even primarily) means "the act of anointing with oil", I can't believe that your use of "oiliness" was merely serendipitous. Naaaahhhh! You're a little too slippery for that! Wink
April 07, 2006, 06:44
I'd never try to slip one by you, Duncan. Smile
April 07, 2006, 06:45
Tartarean – hellish, infernal [from Tartarus, a section of Hades reserved for punishment of the wicked]
phillippic – a bitter, violent speech of denunciation
[from Demosthenes' speeches, in 351-341 B.C.E., against Philip II of Macedon]

How is a child affected by a brutally strict scholastic regimen? Carryl tells How Jack Made the Giants Uncommonly Sore.Today we learn of Jack's unhappy upbringing; tomorrow we'll see how he turned out.

April 07, 2006, 09:14
Duncan Howell
Philippic is not a word you see every day. My last encounter was on Simon & Garfunkel's 1969 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. There was a song entitled "A Simple Desultory Philippic or How I was Robert MacNamara'd into Submission". The title was more memorable than the lyrics!
April 08, 2006, 06:38
Jack's tartarean upbringing made him intellectually mordacious, pugnacious and rapacious. Good gracious!

I have now put Carryl poems on line. For this poem, go to the table of contents and click to How Jack Made the Giants Uncommonly Sore. I do love the double-pun at the end!

mordacious – biting; caustic; sarcastic; capable of wounding (also biting in the literal sense)
pugnacious – combative; quick to argue or quarrel
rapacious – aggressively greedy; grasping [Latin rapere to snatch]
April 08, 2006, 07:35
These have been delightful, WC. Thanks so much for putting all the poems online!

I like how he uses the language . . . almost like Seuss, and very forward-thinking in its resemblance to rap poetry. I am thinking, in particular, of this portion:
On a highly barbarian, Disciplinarian, Nearly Tartarean

But he said on the sly
An eloquent word, that had come
From a quite indefensible,
Most reprehensible,
But indispensable

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
April 09, 2006, 09:25
I have now put three volumes of Carryl poems on line. Grimm Tales Made Gay (1902) contains yesterday's, and all others this week are from Fables for the Frivolous (1898). Finally, Mother Goose for Grown Ups (1900) includes two of my favorite Carryl poems, The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet and The Gastronomic Guile of Simple Simon.

barrow – a cart for carrying small loads; also, a mound over a burial site; also, a pig castrated before sexual maturity [interesting combination here!]
objet d'art – a small decorative or artistic piece; a curio
borough – a town [as distinct from a city]
shire – a district roughly equivalent to a county

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