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"PERDURABO" : 1899 Poem by Aleister Crowley.  

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SPHINX
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01/04/2014 4:43 am  

AUSTRALIA
Tuesday 1st April 2014.

Welcome my Lashtal friends,

With next week's Anniversary CX of the Thelemic Holy Days beginning noon 8th April, please accept this contribution from me, some appreciation of – a single word – uttered by the prophet of the Lovely Star.
Aleister Crowley's first poem was published in 'The Christian Weekly' some short time after his father's death 5th March, 1887. The first line of that poem is - “I am a blind man on a helmless ship,”.
He was twelve years of age.
During the following sixty years, among other things, he is well remembered for publishing after composing his prolific prose and poetry.
Twelve years hence in 1899 his productive, poetic muse was active during the second year of his literary career, a career that would ultimately produce at least one hundred books.

'Jephthah; and Other Mysteries,...' was issued by him via Kegan Paul in late 1899 a brick-red board and linen edition of only 200 copies as recorded in Kegan Paul archives royalties ledger for that year. A 223 page volume of lyrical and dramatic creations from a twenty four year old writer. The book carries on the spine's paper label – Price : 7s 6p.
For our current interest, it displays on page 186 the first appearance of a brief two stanza poem entitled – 'PERDURABO'.
[ Members of our Lashtal Society will be familiar with this peculiar word and understand it to be Aleister's earliest magical motto, chosen for his initiation into that fin-de-siecle mystical coterie the 'Order of the Golden Dawn' in London on Friday, 18th November 1898 becoming 'Brother Perdurabo'.]

The second instance of the publication of this short poem occurred in 1905 within Vol.1 of 'The Works of Aleister Crowley' (Foyers SPRT)  lingering lonely in the middle of page 118. Included, this time, is a footnote from the London editor Mr Ivor Back March 1905 : “'PERDURABO' – 'I shall endure to the end'. This was the mystic title taken by Crowley at his first initiation.”. Each of the three volumes had 1,000 copies produced on India paper in camel-hair paper covers for retail sale as sets.
[The three volumes comprising the 'Collected Works 1905 – 07' were reprinted forty years ago (1973) by 'Yogi Publication Society' Illinois USA in two different coloured sets of  blood-red and pure white imitation cloth boards embossed front and back, as well as gold stamp to spine and cover. Handsome, durable three-piece sets that faithfully preserve the contents, in facsimile form, of Crowley's truly remarkable achievement his 791 pages of earliest written output.]

'PERDURABO' next saw print for a third time a century ago in 1914 with the arrival of a poetry anthology volume 'Cambridge Poets, 1900 – 13' which featured ten of Crowley's poems chosen by A. C. W. Tillyard the female editor of that well received collection who greatly admired his - “sensual, singing, majestic genius.”.
An opinion easily agreed with to this day for twenty eight years ago the little fourteen line poem emerged again with it's thankful inclusion by Mr Martin Booth in his 1986 'Aleister Crowley Selected Poems'. Listed as title 52 on page 187 of that 206 page light gray cloth edition from Crucible Press UK showcasing 55 poems.
Interestingly, or not, in mid 1946 when time came for Crowley himself to compile his swan-song, the last book he would issue in his lifetime, 'OLLA – Anthology of Sixty Years of Song' with Aleister's personal roll-call of 63 most fovourite poems he decided not to include little 'PERDURABO', somewhat disappointingly.
'OLLA' is an oversize brown cloth volume, limited to 500 copies, of 128 pages with Title Page Price of 15 shillings.
But, he does devote the entirety of page 18 curiously to these simple three lines :
                                    THE HAPPY MAN
                            “I can't read, and I can't write;
                      I'm in bed all day, and drunk all night.”

Finally then, dear reader, unless I have overlooked somewhere else another example of this compact but momentous poem I append it here now 115 years after it's first publication for your thoughtful examination. We should also listen, as Mr Aleister Crowley himself speaks to conclude this tiny essay :
“I am overwhelmed by urgent work … yet the word which I uttered at my first initiation, 'Perdurabo' ( I shall endure unto the End ) still echoes in eternity.”
'Confessions' page 923. Cape 1969.

        93
    93 / 93
  SPHINX

                          –  PERDURABO –

        Exile from humankind! The snow's fresh flakes
        Are warmer than men's hearts. My mind is wrought
        Into dark shapes of solitary thoughtful
        That loves and sympathizes, but awakes
        No answering love or pity. What a pang
        Hath this strange solitude to aggravate
        The self-abasement and the blows of Fate!
        No snake of hell hath so severe a fang!

        I am not lower than all men – I feel
        Too keenly. Yet my place is not above;
      Though I have this – unalterable Love
        In every fibre. I am crucified
        Apart on a lone burning crag of steel.
        Tortured, cast out; and yet – I shall abide.


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William Thirteen
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01/04/2014 8:05 am  

thanks, Sphinx, for the tidy introduction to this tidy little poem.


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fama_fraternitatis
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01/04/2014 9:56 am  

Thank you, Sphinx, for sharing this.


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SPHINX
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04/04/2014 5:30 am  

Fraternal Greetings,

Fra WilliamThirteen & fama_fraternitatis

Thank you both for your interest shown.
As indicated above I anticipated there may probably be other modern sources available to encounter wee 'PERDURABO' in print.
So going online I found that indeed a publisher called 'Book Tree US' reissued the three volumes in paperback - 1st April 2012 describing them as 'occult, mythology'. (?)
Then in November that year 'The Works of Aleister Crowley 05 - 07' was reprinted by 'Martino Fine Books' Texas. The three volumes becoming one huge brick of a book in hardcover featuring the unicursal hexagram on both covers. Total pages being 796.
One online purchaser commented - "I was sorely disappointed ... photocopied pages even SMALLER than the original text!"
But it does seem little 'PERDURABO' has been published again just eighteen months ago.
... abide / endure ... indeed!

93  93  /  93


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lashtal
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04/04/2014 11:21 am  

Thanks, Sphinx. You might want to consider posting this sort of material as a Blog on this site. Blogs are free and offer all the standard functionality you would expect...

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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SPHINX
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16/04/2014 1:43 am  

… I feel a nagging compunction, insistent upon me, to travel a step further along the passage of this particular poetic Post, to close more completely Crowley's magic circle with a printed addendum from the last year of his life.

Drawing toward the end of his life Brother P. composed another short fourteen line poem. This is entitled – 'LOGOS' and is naturally somewhat more profound and complex in concept.
I believe this poem may be even more difficult to encounter as I've only located it printed in three places.

1/ 'OLLA' the original source, as Aleister specifically spent energy creating it when he was seventy (along with two other 'new' poems) to publish in 1946.
'LOGOS' appears in 'OLLA' as title 49 on page 103 with a one line postscript :
“ Netherwood, The Ridge, Hastings. 1946.”
[ On 17th January 1945 he went to live, and die, at 'Netherwood' a large, sombre boarding house demolished since 1968.]

2/ 'Aleister Crowley Selected Poems' again that 1986 edition kindly included by Mr Booth showing as title 54 on page 194.

3/ 'Netherwood – Last Resort of Aleister Crowley' a beautiful, very informative, lovingly produced 227 page hardcover volume published in London in 2012 written by “ a Gentleman of Hastings” where it looms boldly on page 138.

Now, as you may well be aware, after composing 'PERDURABO' as a youthful neophyte Aleister pursued an astoundingly adventurous life full of wilfulness and spiritual liberty. A story we've all enjoyed following in any of the two dozen biographies available about him.
So this vast accumulated experience forged him into a colossal gnostic heavyweight thus able to form an observation on his own personal mortality – a poem, written in his seventieth year entitled : 'LOGOS'.

I know what you're thinking – “That's a peculiar word too, what's it mean?”
Well, let's just think about that a little bit, because 'Logos' is a Greek term for the manifested effect of a hidden cause.
In a mystic sense, generally, cosmic law and order.
Also, in the terminology of divine wisdom, the physically manifested Diety whose speech is thought.
Hmmm … okay.
It's a difficult concept to grasp but essentially when Diety manifests Itself to humanity, through an individual, that person is known as – the LOGOS.

So now my friends permit me to share with you another obscure literary gem.
After this brief prologue of mine, here is an epithet – 'LOGOS', with it's fourteen line epitath – Aleister Crowley's mature, insightful, versified farewell.

  93  93  /  93

                                          LOGOS

              Out of the night forth flamed a star – mine own!
                Now seventy light-years nearer as I urge
              Constant mine heart through the abyss unknown,
                It's glory my sole guide while spaces surge
              About me. Seventy light-years! As I near
                That gate of light that men call death, its cold
              Pale gleam begins to pulse, a throbbing sphere,
                Systole and diastole of eager gold,
              New life immortal, warmth of passion bleed
                Till night's black velvet burn to crimson. Hark!
              It is Thy voice, Thy word, the secret seed
                Of rapture that admonishes the dark.
              Swift! By necessity most righteous drawn,
              Hermes, authentic auger of the dawn!


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Shiva
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16/04/2014 2:03 am  
"SPHINX" wrote:
… I feel a nagging compunction, insistent upon me, to travel a step further along the passage of this particular poetic Post ...

Whatever you do, be sure to ignore the intelligent suggestion of the moderator to post this sort of thing as a blog.


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Nomad
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16/04/2014 2:05 am  

Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing.

Though I take it that the apostrophised "It's" (line 4) is a typo?


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SPHINX
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16/04/2014 2:56 am  

Nomad,

YES !! The hideous typo error is mine!

Arrrr - and I tried SO HARD to have it appear exactly correct, as you would expect, and deserve!

I will investigate the process of 'correcting a post' to remove this unsightly blemish caused by a clumsy oaf...


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Nomad
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16/04/2014 3:01 am  

All good 🙂

Thanks again. Truly a first-rate sonnet.


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jamie barter
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16/04/2014 3:18 pm  
"SPHINX" wrote:
1/ 'OLLA' the original source, as Aleister specifically spent energy creating it when he was seventy (along with two other 'new' poems) to publish in 1946. [...]

As this appears to have transmogrified into “Poetry Corner” (with a couple of very fine poems, too): if “Logos” was one of these “two other new poems”, might I enquire what the other second one was?  (I don’t have my copy of Olla available to consult, and also the information may be of interest to others who similarly cannot access it or any of the other two volumes where 'LOGOS' is cited, for some reason.)  And would you also view it yourself, Sphinx, as being on the same or almost comparable level as 'LOGOS', having also been produced with all of A.C.’s accumulated wisdom & life experience right at the end of his life? 

... And if not, why not?  And if so, why did you therefore then omit to mention it?  (Compare and contrast any further textual examples by the author which may be brought in to support and highlight your essay, sorry, answer, particularly in relation to “Perdurabo” as necessary; however marks will be deducted for injudicious use of punctuation should this be demonstrated as glaring…)

(Incidentally it may be useful to bear in mind for future use – since it appears to be one of your repeated errors! 😀 - that I-t-apostrophe-s is an abbreviation for “It is”, and to avoid confusion should be restricted for that use only: the spelling “its” indicates a possessive association of something belonging with something else expressive “of” the genitive case, and is quite a different barrel of herring (not to mention equus of a different hue, as they suggest in Oz).)

Grammatically & hopefully helpfully yours
Norma N Joy Conquest


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soz
 soz
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17/04/2014 4:11 am  

Thanks for posting these, and the info! One more quibble- it's "thought", not "thoughtful" in the third line of Perdurabo.


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SPHINX
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19/04/2014 3:02 am  

soz,

Thank you very much for observing yet another terrible typo error perpetrated by a truly SORRY, arse-about typist !!!
More for me to attempt to correct !! (sigh...)
BUT - let us hope I perform a little better with this third and final installment of that thing which I thought I could carefully share.


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SPHINX
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19/04/2014 3:12 am  

… Come, please, and walk with me one more time my friend as the sun has now set and the gloom of evening surrounds our steps, to consider this final part of my triptych tale of a poetic life –

Aleister Crowley  from  'PERDURABO'  then  'LOGOS'  hence now  'THANATOS BASILEOS'.

Most likely the last poem he ever wrote, a trim ten lines, crafted for publication in 'OLLA' appearing as title 61 on page 119.

With postscript –  “Netherwood, The Ridge, Hastings. 1946.”

My own great affection for this gifted poet has been part of me these past forty five years, his inspiration ever present when the influence of others has fallen away lost in the dust of my journey.

Perhaps, since Aleister's demise he has garnered the ultimate accolade – apotheosis – elevation to the rank of a god, most certainly a pagan one.
Or maybe at least, the perfect example of the rascal guru.

I will accept both assessments, as I hold them myself.

                      *          *        *          *          *

                In the inky black of this night ahead your
                face dear friend, though close to me, is dark.
                Behind us to the East arises an Isis Moon
                her pert horns penetrate the horizon, but
                to the West, what's that bright light ? –
                one star in sight !

The gigantic mystical ichthyphallic Greek sea-serpent of death
releases his coiled grasp about the dead grand Magus as his soul soars
beyond this vale of clay to re-join the great old gods on His throne in Eternity.

Leaving the memory of Him secure forever in the minds of men,
until in the fullness of time an end will come
when the Earth spirals into the Sun.

  93    93  /  93
 
                                                –  THANATOS BASILEOS  – 

                                      The Serpent dips his head beneath the sea
                                      His mother, source of all his energy
                                      Eternal, thence to draw the strength he needs
                                      On earth to do indomitable deeds
                                      Once more; and they, who saw but understood
                                      Naught of his nature of beatitude
                                      Were awed: they murmured with abated breath;
                                      Alas the Master; so he sinks in death.
                                      But whoso knows the mystery of man
                                      Sees life and death as curves of one same plan.


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jamie barter
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22/04/2014 5:14 pm  

Sorry if I seem to have somehow blundered into disturbing the intended symmetry of your carefully considered triptych there, Sphinx.  It seems I somehow may have anticipated/ intuited your action of including “Thanatos Basileos” as the third entry, although I certainly wasn’t aware of it in advance… maybe it was pre-ordained to be that way in the vast chain of circumstance, like everything else in the world, worlds unto end, yadda yadah etc…? 😀

Would the idea be that the prose-poetry contained in

"SPHINX" wrote:
                In the inky black of this night ahead your
                face dear friend, though close to me, is dark.
                Behind us to the East arises an Isis Moon
                her pert horns penetrate the horizon, but
                to the West, what's that bright light ? –
                one star in sight !

The gigantic mystical ichthyphallic Greek sea-serpent of death
releases his coiled grasp about the dead grand Magus as his soul soars
beyond this vale of clay to re-join the great old gods on His throne in Eternity.

Leaving the memory of Him secure forever in the minds of men,
until in the fullness of time an end will come
when the Earth spirals into the Sun.

is also meant to be considered a Poem of some sort, comprising as it does of two sextets (the latter divided into two parts of three lines each) – if so, it’s not quite clear as to any particular rhythm/ rhyme scheme which may be involved, if there is one - or is it meant to be all free verse?

I do most wholeheartedly agree with your notion to include

"SPHINX" wrote:
But, he does devote the entirety of page 18 curiously to these simple three lines :
                                    THE HAPPY MAN
                            “I can't read, and I can't write;
                      I'm in bed all day, and drunk all night.”

along with your triptych, which I feel in some ways is the most perfect poem A.C. ever wrote.  Certainly the shortest, I think! (Unless one also counts his similarly excellent piece about “Tully is an ass, Tully is a fool…”)  Shakespeare himself would be hard put to achieve the same precision & conciseness in describing a large part of the human condition as A.C. does in such a small pithy turn of phrase.  Him, or another William perhaps (- William McGonagall)?!

Finally, with regard to your remark

"SPHINX" wrote:
[...] Perhaps, since Aleister's demise he has garnered the ultimate accolade – apotheosis – elevation to the rank of a god, most certainly a pagan one.
Or maybe at least, the perfect example of the rascal guru.

I will accept both assessments, as I hold them myself.

I must consider myself a little on the old perplexed side with that: just so it can be discounted as being an option from the record, despite the way it may have read are you actually claiming to “hold” both positions “yourself” (i.e., being most certainly elevated to the rank of a pagan god & the perfect example of a rascal guru)?  Now I’ve actually typed that down it seems a bit of ridiculous thing to be asking, but …well, one never knows these days!  Or, could is it be that it is NOT to be discounted?!  I just thought it might be best to clarify the matter (before “Poetry Corner” also turns into “Claims Corner”!)

Thanks for your sharing some excellent Poetry.  But whence the sepulchral gloom?!  "The sun has now set" is a tad Old Aeon and not the "Ever Coming", n'est-ce-pas?

"SPHINX" wrote:
… Come, please, and walk with me one more time my friend as the sun has now set and the gloom of evening surrounds our steps, to consider this final part of my triptych tale of a poetic life –

Also, I trust you didn’t mind me picking you up on the It-apostrophe-s earlier; some people can get a bit prickly about being corrected over such things, you know!  I wasn’t attempting to be schoolmasterish but genuinely trying to help point out an error which is surprisingly common, very basic & which others may hopefully profit from distinguishing the difference between.

“Since ‘Every man and every woman is a star’, each of us is, or makes, his [or her] own poem; expressed, or unexpressed, in song.” (-A.C.)
'N Joy


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jamie barter
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24/04/2014 12:20 pm  

I have been contacted by somebody thru PM and been challenged that I was not being entirely serious, and moreover may have actually been possibly flippant or facetious 😮 in my earlier allegation that this creation

THE HAPPY MAN

"I can't read, and I can't write;
I'm in bed all day, and drunk all night.”[/align:2xmuokvl]

in some ways represented A.C.’s “most perfect poem”, both in terms of content of subject matter and also its style, brevity and precision.

This is an outrageous slur & calumny which in this impromptu Poetry Corner I will now seek to rectify with the following short review.  Needless to say I was shocked to the very core by such an accusation and feel obliged to make immediate amends.

REVIEW.[/align:2xmuokvl]
By being unable to read and write, “the happy man” has ensured that his mind is relatively, if not completely, free from the virus of words which has made almost everyone else on the planet confuse the map with the territory.  The man – nor is it quite clear whether the reference may be obliquely in an ‘idealised’ way to A.C. himself – is described by the ‘glad word’ of being Happy in his uncomplicatedness (- not quite the same thing as his being simple, of course!) as at that precise moment there are no veils to obscure; his life is complete: perfect.  He has nothing left to learn, nor has he actually learned any facts at all – and he remains untainted by education, or more correctly interpreted: indoctrination.

He has achieved fulfilment of his life purpose in that instant of epiphanic realisation of the Thelemic goal of the unification & transcendence of opposites – illustrated here by the inversion of the social norms by his going to sleep in the day time and living at night.  And the manner in which he lives is by his living life to the full, as symbolised by the Dionysian/ Blakeian ‘excess’ of sensual fulfilment and thereby “enjoying all things of sense and rapture.”  He has not been conditioned to think that it is in any way improper to behave as he does, and his superego has not attempted to censor his actions and infringe the movement of his pure will.

Although it is not mentioned, there is also the implication that the Happy man is free from the worries of wage-slavery as well (Of course, he might also be a beggar but, ahem, needless to say let us swiftly skit over that unfavourable possibility…)

... ..... ...[/align:2xmuokvl]

Now I challenge someone else to do another review, this time with that similarly brief piece which, under the heading “My First Poem” in Olla (page 17), is described there by A.C. as an earlier (untitled) fragment from 1885, and concerning which he remarks: “Desunt ceterce: te Deum laudamus! But it makes up the full sixty years.” *  Btw, I earlier mis-remembered the name there as being TuLLy.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I actually prefer the harder sound of this since it otherwise helps break up by contrast, rather than reinforcement, the sustained sibilant assonance created by TuSSy.  But it is Tussy in  the original.

Here is that other similarly excellent piece, then:

(UNTITLED) [not sic - it really is untitled!)

Tully is an ass;
Tully is a fool;
Tully is the biggest chump
At Collier’s Witney School.[/align:2xmuokvl]

* The rest is missing: we give praise to thee, o God!

Incidentally, I don’t know how far we are carrying the proof-reading Sphinx my friend, but as I am posting again anyway there is one further amendment for you in the last line of ‘LOGOS’: you have written “augEr” in place of “augUr”.  (There’s also one other small deliberate typo in the poem above – tonite’s star prize of a speedboat to the first person to spot it… if only I had the lolly…)

'N Joy


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jamie barter
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25/04/2014 12:31 pm  

Further to your triptych, Sphinx, I notice that there are actually three poems attributed to A.C. written in Hastings – the two which you have already mentioned and quoted in full, and which also have the year ‘1946’ added afterwards – and a third one which has no date at the end.  Possibly this third poem may have been A.C.’s last creation and swansong instead of ‘THANATOS BASILEOS’, as you suggested?  In its own way it is quite as profound as the other two, and perhaps serves as his comment in full upon the status quo of things at this stage in the development of the Crowned & Conquering Child.  I don’t think that the title is meant to be taken wholly seriously in context, since the problem it purportedly addresses (and not just the lack of it!) remains right up at the forefront of socio-political mores & human interactions in the Aeon of Horus. 

The poem appears on page 32 of OLLA and reads in full as follows:

              PANACEA

Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money,
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money.[/align:1pi1e5y8]

Incidentally if we’re discussing our favourite bits of OLLA (a splendid anthology and which we do seem to be, at least in part, in this impromptu "Poetry Corner"), I would also like to draw to the attention of those who may not already have come across it there, or else in The Equinox, one of A.C.’s best plays, Mortadello (which I believe at one point was the subject of discussions between him and some Hollywood personnel relating to the possibility of it being turned into a film – which of course never happened.)  The following extract - “A Slice” [!] – appears on page 68, and describes therein the morals of the eponymous main character:

To the manners of a flunkey
He adds the brains of a hen, and the morals of a monkey.
A pig is hardly as clean as he is, when he’s sober –
Which never falls between November and October.
For vermin he’s a rat, for greed a shark, for grace
A duck, and lame at that, a mule for pride of race.
The peacock’s vanity, the jackdaw’s perky pertness,
The magpie’s honesty, the tortoise’s alertness;
An elephant for hide, a spaniel for servility,
A cockatoo for pride, a sheep for imbecility,
For chastity a goat, for reticence a starling,
And, as for stink, a stoat – and there you are, my darling![/align:1pi1e5y8]

I don’t know about you but the subject matter, not to mention rendering the best possible declamation of its content, puts one in mind of the well-known thespian Rex Harrison as Doctor Doolittle – or perhaps him in his bitingly acerbic 'Professor Higgins' mode.  Try it! 😀

N Joy


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michaelclarke18
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25/04/2014 10:10 pm  

PANACEA

Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money,
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money.

Guess this one inspired ABBA.


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Hamal
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25/04/2014 11:38 pm  
"michaelclarke18" wrote:

PANACEA

Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money,
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money.

Guess this one inspired ABBA.

LOL.

In that case maybe the A(h) A(h) is a scouse magickal order....

😀
93
Hamal


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
28/04/2014 5:41 pm  
"michaelclarke18" wrote:

PANACEA

Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money,
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money;
Money, money, money, money,
  Money, money, money.

Guess this one inspired ABBA.

Do you know, michael, those were my very thoughts & that song rang through my mind while I was typing it!  I did think of mentioning it myself, but decided not to as I couldn’t really fit the reference in.  But you have!! (And let us not forget the esoteric significance of the letters in ABBA too! ;D )

N Joy


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William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1090
28/04/2014 9:46 pm  

You might want to consider posting this sort of material as a Blog on this site. Blogs are free and offer all the standard functionality you would expect...

may also help with preventing the discourse from descending to the lowest common denominator...


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
29/04/2014 12:37 pm  
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:

You might want to consider posting this sort of material as a Blog on this site. Blogs are free and offer all the standard functionality you would expect...

may also help with preventing the discourse from descending to the lowest common denominator...

Yes, I thought we had reached that nadir long ago! 

But it would not be down to me to ‘blog’ it…  (Does anybody feeling like responding to my own blog lodged here, incidentally?!)
N Joy


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