Guest poem send in by Aseem The first poem that came to mind for the hippopotamus theme. An old, old favourite:
(Poem #846) The Hippopotamus
The broad-backed hippopotamus Rests on his belly in the mud; Although he seems so firm to us He is merely flesh and blood. Flesh and blood is weak and frail, Susceptible to nervous shock; While the true church can never fail For it is based upon a rock. The hippo's feeble steps may err In compassing material ends, While the True Church need never stir To gather in its dividends. The 'potamus can never reach The mango on the mango-tree; But fruits of pomegranate and peach Refresh the Church from over sea. At mating time the hippo's voice Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd, But every week we hear rejoice The Church, at being one with God. The hippopotamus's day Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts; God works in a mysterious way - The church can sleep and feed at once I saw the 'potamus take wing Ascending from the damp savannas, And quiring angels round him sing The praise of God, in loud hosannas. Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean And him shall heavenly arms enfold, Among the saints he shall be seen Performing on a harp of gold. He shall be washed as white as snow, By all martyr'd virgins kist, While the True Church remains below Wrapt in old miasmal mist.
Easily one of the most sarcastic and vicious poems I've ever read - I specially love the simple, almost childish abab rhyming and the final two lines with their image of an institution wallowing in eternal stagnation. Aseem On the theme: Honestly, I never intended this to become a theme :) Yesterday's poem was more along the lines of an Irresistible Followup (tm), and I was planning to let it go at that. However, not only did I receive two emails both suggesting the same poem, I also had someone express the hope that I was not running a *hippopotamus* theme of all things. Well, with incentive like that, what could I do? Here's the third hippo poem, and here endeth the theme. -martin Links: The previous two poems in the theme: Poem #844 Oliver Herford, "The Hippopotamus" Poem #845 Shel Silverstein, "Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich" And other Eliot poems on Minstrels: Poem #9 "La Figlia Che Piange (The Weeping Girl)" Poem #107 "Preludes" Poem #193 "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock" Poem #248 "Sweeney Among the Nightingales" Poem #258 "Macavity: The Mystery Cat" Poem #291 "The Journey of the Magi" Poem #354 "The Waste Land (Part IV)" Poem #466 "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" Poem #532 "Little Gidding" Poem #574 "Growltiger's Last Stand" Poem #630 "To Walter de la Mare"