Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Silly Pastime

I've been re-writing pop songs in the voices of certain famous dead poets.

Here is an excerpt of "Polythene Pam" (Beatles, Abbey Road) in the voice of Robert Herrick:

Lo, gaze upon her
     In jack-boots and kilt:
Hey nonny nonny!
     Drest unto the hilt!
She's the kind of a lass
Who doth gambol in grass:
     Forsooth, most beauteously built!

And then there's "I Am The Walrus" in the voice of Sylvia Plath:

Semolina, Fräulein Pilchard,
Climbing the Eiffel tower, sultry slut,
Cheating wife.

Elementary penguin brandishing a knife.
Kicking Edgar Allan Poe
With a brute boot.

You do not do, you do not do,
Daddy Walrus, Herr Walrus,
I'm through. I'm through. I'm through.

And finally, the Smiths' anthem "How Soon Is Now?" as performed by the nineteenth-century Jesuit, Gerard Manley Hopkins:

I am the stunned son, the heir, grasping, gasping for Mary's air,
Of a shyness, Christ! that is not minimal, but criminally vulgar:

Inheritor, kingdom-kith, of no one, nothing in particular.
O cease, for sake of His world-wounds five, ye mock-mouths many!
How can you damn, deride with snidest saying, the Passion-path I tread?
Humble am I, of woman-womb born, human, seeking, beseeching life-love's lift,
As everyone else in the crying, sighing, straining-with-lacklight creation.

Irrefutable, apodictic proof, this, that I have too much free time on my hands!