(Poem #1111) The Common Cormorant
The common cormorant (or shag) Lays eggs inside a paper bag, You follow the idea, no doubt? It's to keep the lightning out. But what these unobservant birds Have never thought of, is that herds Of wandering bears might come with buns And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.
What I like even more than this poem's inspired silliness is the absolutely deadpan manner in which it is delivered. Even Silverstein's "Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich" [Poem #845], of which today's poem is strongly reminiscent, didn't exude that tone of perfect reasonableness, that air of merely elaborating on a well-known fact. Is this a children's poem? It certainly works as one - children are for the most part deeply appreciative of whimsy and topsy-turvy logic. But so are many adults, and something about the poem makes me think that the latter were Isherwood's intended audience, though I can't quite pin it down. martin Links: I found today's poem at http://www.newtrix.com/poems/ci-corm.htm which has a biography and a photo of Isherwood.