Carrying on with the cricket theme...
(Poem #948) Grand Rapids Cricket Club
In Grand Rapids is a handsome club, Of men that cricket play, As fine a set of skillful men That can their skill display. They are the champions of the West, They think they are quite fine, They've won a hundred honors well; It is their most cunning design. Brave Kelso, he's considered great, Chief of the club he is found; Great crowds he draws to see him bowl The ball upon the ground. And Mr. Follet is very brave, A lighter player than the rest, He got struck severe at the fair ground For which he took a rest. When Mr. Dennis does well play, His courage is full great, And accidents to him occur, But not much, though, of late. This ball play is a dangerous game, Brave knights to play it though; Those boys would be the nation's pride, If they to war would go. From Milwaukee their club did come, With thoughts of skill at play, But beat they was, and then went home -- Had nothing more to say. Grand Rapids club that cricket play, Will soon be known afar, Much prouder do the members stand, Like many a noble star.
What can one say about a magnificent effort like today's? "Longfellow at his best wrote nothing like that." "I agree with you." -- Saki, "Reginald's Peace Poem" Well, Moore herself has provided an apt description... All those which speak of being killed, died or drowned, are truthful songs; others are "more truth than poetry." -- Julia Moore, Preface to "The Sweet Singer of Michigan" As have the editors of "The Stuffed Owl"... And she adds, defending herself against these evil men, that "Literary is a work very difficult to do," and that poetry from the heart has more power than poetry from the head. -- D. B. Wyndham Lewis and Charles Lee, "The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse" on Moore Though as Moore says And now kind friends, what I have wrote, I hope you will pass o'er, And not criticise as some have done, Hitherto herebefore -- Julia Moore, "The Author's Early Life" However, criticism is what we are all about, so let us examine today's poem in greater detail. And a most rewarding poem it is too - all the heroism and the travails of the brave men of the Grand Rapids Cricket Club are brought touchingly and vividly to life, and the well-deserved victory over the upstarts from Milwaukee is passed over with masterful understatement. Note, too, the bold use of syntactic inversions, daring eye-rhymes and charmingly varied scansion. What from a lesser poet would be mere poetry gets turned in Moore's hands into immortal Doggerel to which the word 'mere' doesn't even begin to apply. Links: Seamus Cooney has a wonderful Julia Moore site, which is well worth exploring, and from which all the quotations other than the Saki one were taken: [broken link] http://www.wmich.edu/english/txt/Moore/ And, incredible as it may seem, Moore is thoroughly eclipsed by the great William McGonagall: Poem #343, William McGonagall, "The Tay Bridge Disaster" Here's some more delightfully bad poetry: [broken link] http://www.wmich.edu/english/tchg/lit/pms/bad/index.html And the Cricket theme thus far: Poem #946, Sir Henry Newbolt, "Vitaï Lampada" Poem #947, John Kendal, "Ballad of a Homeless Bat" Afterthought: 'Tis an ill wind... [Nash's] rhymes are jarringly off or disconcertingly exact, and his ragged stanzas vary from lines of one word to lines that meander the length of a paragraph, often interrupted by inapposite digressions. He said he learned his prosody from the unintentional blunders of the notoriously slipshod poet Julia Moore, the "Sweet Singer of Michigan." -- EB on Ogden Nash -martin