Thursday, July 21, 2011

Verbal Poetry

Excellent poem from Futility Closet.

One night an errant Werewolf fled His wife and child and visited A village teacher’s sepulchre And begged him: “Conjugate me, sir!”

The village teacher then awoke And standing on his scutcheon spoke Thus to the beast, who made his seat With crossed paws at the dead man’s feet:

“The Werewolf,” said that honest wight, “The Willwolf — future, am I right? The Wouldwolf — wolf conditional, The Beowulf — father of them all!”

These tenses had a pleasing sound, The Werewolf rolled his eyeballs round, And begged him, as he’d gone so far, Add plural to the singular.

The village teacher scratched his head; He’d never heard of that, he said. Though there were “wolves” in packs and swarms, Of “were” could be no plural forms!

There werewolf rose up blind with tears – He’s had a wife and child for years! But being ignorant of letters He went home thankful to his betters.

– Christian Morgenstern


Anonymous said...

Very silly! I am pluralized,also unwittingly, at least with the first offspring...

Kirsti Hart-Negrich
Lathrup Village

Laura Payne said...

Nice to meet you Kirsti. Thanks for reading and commenting. When were you at Wayne?

kirsti said...

Hey, neighbor! This is Lathrup- Village-Kirsti from the picnic last weekend on Section 1. i took those psycholinguistic classes when the course was new, 1978-1980...I'm new at this blogging thing and tried to leave some of this info with you yesterday in some of my other commentary!
love to get together and play some euchre or pinnochle.

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow, I didn't know this poem was translated into English. I only knew the German version (I am German).
Maybe you might find it as interesting as I do, that it works in both languages. Except the fact, that it is about the cases in German an not about tenses (Werwolf, Weswolf, Wemwolf, Wenwolf), but as I see, it doesn't harm the humorous effect!

Love your blog,
Flo from Germany

Laura Payne said...

Thanks Flo. That is interesting.

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