Friday, April 15, 2022

R W Wood (#poem)


The Penguin. The Sword-fish.
We have for many years been bored
By that old saw about the sword
And pen, and now we all rejoice,
To see how Nature made her choice.
She made, regardless of offendin'
The Sword-fish mightier than the Penguin.

-R. W. Wood

Various byways led me to a discover The Norton Book of Light Verse (1986) edited by Russell Baker. My library had it! I have a few other anthologies of light verse already, and this one had a number of the usual suspects: Ogden Nash, Don Marquis, Dorothy Parker. Always fun to read them again. But it had a few I didn't know at all, and one of those Robert Williams Wood. (1868-1955) He was an important figure in optics, pioneering infrared and ultraviolet photography, according to Wikipedia. But he also wrote (1907) this book,... and for our purposes today... You can find it here at Project Gutenberg.

A couple more, while we're here:

The Clover. The Plover.

The Plover and the Clover can be told apart with ease,
By paying close attention to the habits of the Bees,
For, Entomologists aver, the Bee can be in Clover 
While Etymologists concur, there is no B in Plover.

The Parrot. The Carrot.
The Parrot and the Carrot one may easily confound.
They're very much alike in looks and similar in sound,
We recognize the parrot by his clear articulation,
For carrots are unable to engage in conversation.


The drawings are pretty amusing as well:


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