Guest poem submitted by Suresh Ramasubramanian, along with a longish prologue. Read on: This poem is supposedly by Charlotte Mulliner, one of Mr Mulliner's endless procession of relatives ... a poet and animal lover who comes under the "spell" of Bludleigh Court, a country house full of avid hunters and one poet boyfriend who suddenly starts to hunt rats with an umbrella when he's at Bludleigh. This spell makes even the most refined poet and animal lover a ravening hunter after prey ranging from big game to rats and sparrows. Charlotte thinks she hasn't been affected by the spell, till she gets a poem that she sent to an animal rights magazine rejected: something that has never, ever happened before. Here's the poem ...
(Poem #1537) Good Gnus
(A Vignette in Verse) When cares attack and life seems black, How sweet it is to pot a yak, Or puncture hares and grizzly bears, And others I could mention; But in my Animals "Who's Who" No name stands higher than the Gnu; And each new gnu that comes in view Receives my prompt attention. When Afric's sun is sinking low, And shadows wander to and fro, And everywhere there's in the air A hush that's deep and solemn; Then is the time good men and true With View Halloo pursue the gnu; (The safest spot to put your shot is through the spinal column). To take the creature by surprise We must adopt some rude disguise, Although deceit is never sweet, And falsehoods don't attract us; So, as with gun in hand you wait, Remember to impersonate A tuft of grass, a mountain-pass, A kopje or a cactus. A brief suspense, and then at last The waiting's o'er, the vigil past; A careful aim. A spurt of flame. It's done. You've pulled the trigger, And one more gnu, so fair and frail, Has handed in its dinner-pail; (The females all are rather small, The males are somewhat bigger).
(Attributed to Charlotte Mulliner, in the short story "Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court", from Wodehouse's book "Mr Mulliner Speaking"). Wonderfully funny, with just the right combination of bombastic poetry, nonsense rhymes (who but PGW can rhyme "yak" with "black" when talking of the blackness of life) and a liberal sprinkling of classic PGW like "handed in its dinner pail", all of which is mixed in with the sort of sanctimonious and didactic wording used by highbrow journals that cater to the "arts and poetry" type of crowd that eats at "The Crushed Pansy" (the restaurant with soul) and tends to read portuguese love sonnets bound in mauve leather. srs. Keeping with the title of the poem, this email has been written using gnus on emacs 21.3. No gnus were harmed in the typing of this poem.