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Song from The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay
“One winter’s morn we rounds the Horn,
A-rollin’ homeward bound.
We strikes the ice, goes down in a trice,
And all on board but Curry and Rice
And me an’ Sam is drowned.
“For Sam an’ me an’ the cook, yer see,
We climbs on a lump of ice,
And there in the sleet we suffered a treat
For several months from frozen feet,
With nothin’ at all but ice to eat,
And ice does not suffice.
“And Sam and me we couldn’t agree
With the cook at any price.
We was both as thin as a piece of tin
While that there cook was busting his skin
On nothin’ to eat but ice.
“Says Sam to me, ‘It’s a mystery
More deep than words can utter;
Whatever we do, here’s me and you,
Us both as thin as Irish stoo,
While he’s as fat as butter.’
“But late one night we wakes in fright
To see by a pale blue flare,
That cook has got in a phantom pot
A big plum-duff an’ a rump-steak hot,
And the guzzlin’ wizard is eatin’ the lot,
On top of the iceberg bare.”
“There’s a verse left out here,” said Bill, stopping the song, “owin’ to the difficulty of explainin’ exactly what happened when me and Sam discovered the deceitful nature of that cook. The next verse is as follows:-
“Now Sam an’ me can never agree
What happened to Curry and Rice.
The whole affair is shrouded in doubt,
For the night was dark and the flare went out,
And all we heard was a startled shout,
Though I think meself, in the subsequent rout,
That us bein’ thin, an’ him bein’ stout,
In the middle of pushin’ an’ shovin’ about,
He-MUST HAVE FELL OFF THE ICE.”
“That won’t do, you know,” began the Puddin’, but Sam said hurriedly, “It was very dark, and there’s no sayin’ at this date what happened.”
“Yes there is,” said the Puddin’, “for I had my eye on the whole affair and it’s my belief that if he hadn’t been so round you’d have never rolled him off the iceberg.”
Norman Lindsay was born on this day in Victoria, Australia in 1879.
The Magic Pudding is said to have been written to settle an argument after a friend of Lindsay’s claimed that children like to read about fairies, while Lindsay asserted that they would rather read about food and fighting.
Philip Pullman has described The Magic Pudding as “the funniest children’s book ever written”.
As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.
And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
‘Love has no ending.
‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
‘I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.
‘The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.’
But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.
To read the full poem click here
WH Auden was born on this day in 1907, you can find more of his work by clicking here
Photo by Ted and Jen
it is easier to work
after our bodies
paper and pen
neither care nor profit
whether we write or not
but as your body moves
under my hands
charged and waiting
we cut the leash
you create me against your thighs
hilly with images
moving through our word countries
writes into your flesh
you make of me.
Touching you I catch midnight
as moon fires set in my throat
I love you flesh into blossom
I made you
and take you made
Audre Lorde was born on this day, in Harlem New York in 1934.
The Love Song of Mugoo and Gugoo
Daljit Nagra was born in London in 1966, you can find more of his work here
I Hid my Love
John Clare was born in Northamptonshire in 1793. You can read more of his work here
(after Tabitha Vevers)
About human love,
she knew nothing.
I’ll show you he promised.
But first you need legs.
And he held up
with the sharpest of tips
to the ripeness of her emerald tail.
She danced an involuntary dance
twitching with fear.
You can read the full poem here
Moniza Alvi was born on this day in 1954
The Victoria Falls
So hushed, so hot, the broad Zambesi lies
Above the Falls, and on her weedy isles
Swing antic monkeys swarm malignant flies,
And seeming-lazy lurk long crocodiles.
But somewhere down the river does the hush
Become a sibilance that hints a sigh,
A murmur, mounting as the currents rush
Faster, and while the murmur is a cry
The cry becomes a shout, the shout a thunder
Until the whole Zambesi waters pour
Into the earth’s side, agitating under
Infinite spray mists, pounding the world’s floor.
Wrapped in this liquid turmoil who can say
Which is the mighty echo, which the spray?
Murial Spark was born on this day in 1918, you can find more of her work here