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My Love is Theosophist -- Patrick Barrington

Guest poem submitted by William Grey:
(Poem #1551) My Love is Theosophist
 My love is a Theosophist
   And reads the Ramayana;
 Her luncheon is a pot of tea,
   Her breakfast a banana.
 She says that matter tends to clog
   The spirit-force behind it.
 My love is a Theosophist,
   And very tough I find it.

 My love is a Theosophist
   And wears no combinations;
 She says they get her thought-urge weak
   And lower her vibrations.
 She tells me flannel next the skin
   Impedes the astral motions.
 My love is a Theosophist,
   And has the strangest notions.

 My love is a Theosophist,
   And few things I deplore as
 Sincerely as the thoughtless way
   She crabs her neighbours' auras.
 She sensed Miss Hope's as bilious green,
   And got some quack to vet it.
 My love is a Theosophist,
   And many folk regret it.

 My love is a Theosophist,
   And though distinctly stouter
 She moves on a more mental plane
   Than do the folks about her.
 She moved into a potted plant
   Last week at Mrs Reece's.
 My love is a Theosophist,
   So I picked up the pieces.

 My love is a Theosophist,
   And has an intimation
 That she was Florence Nightingale
   In her last incarnation.
 She senses me as Titus Oates,
   More Ape-man than Apollo,
 My love is a Theosophist,
   And difficult to follow.

 My love is a Theosophist,
   And does not seem to worry
 If they forget to send the fish
   Or fail to cook the curry.
 As my potatoes grow more burnt
   Her temper grows the sweeter.
 My love is a Theosophist,
   And lives on Veeta Weeta.

 My love is a Theosophist--
   Or, rather, is no longer;
 For, though her Ego-urge was strong,
   The Cosmic Will was stronger.
 While moving on the Higher Plane
   She moved into a lorry.
 My love was a Theosophist,
   And really I'm not sorry.
-- Patrick Barrington
Patrick Barrington succeeded an uncle to become the 11th Viscount
Barrington. He died at the age of 81 on 6 April 1990.  There was an
enthusiastic audience of devotees for Barrington's whimsical verse, much of
it published in Punch in the early 1930s.

'My Love is a Theosophist' is characteristic of his style.  It is
instructive as well as entertaining. References to psychic beliefs
("vibrations", "cosmic will", and so on) show that little has changed in
psychic belief systems over the last 70 years. A chemist or physicist who
walked through a time warp in a laboratory of 70 years ago would be
immediately struck by the archaic apparatus in use.  If you walked into a
spiritualist's or psychic's den of 70 years ago -- apart from the absence of
a personal computer on the desk in the corner -- you would perceive little
change.

That is one way of illustrating how science develops by it superseding and
replacing inferior theories and methods in a continuing process of
innovation which fosters a progressive incremental process of improvement in
our understanding.  Paranormal beliefs, in contrast, are moribund. The
silver lining to this otherwise darkish cloud is that Barrington's whimsical
scepticism resonates as delightfully and with as much relevance today as
when they were penned more than seventy years ago.

William Grey.

57 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Sue Barrow said...

Loved it - keep them coming
With appreciation
Sue

Ian Baillieu said...

Good fun! But surely 'as' in the 5th-last line is a typo.
Should it be 'is' or 'was'?

bettywarrilow said...

Not a comment on the poem as such - more a comment on the comment. I probably give paranormal beliefs little more credence than William Grey, but I find his dismissal of them as 'moribund' and his equally zealous belief in the all-encompassing possibilities of science very interesting. It must be very comforting to be so fervent about the ability of science to replace 'inferior theories and methods'. Perhaps one day it will render poetry unnecessary too - indeed, Patrick Barrington is no doubt better than Shakespeare because he is more recent.

Or perhaps not.

Fay Warrilow

bettywarrilow said...

the address the comment came from is not the one I usually use - my email address is actually if you want to put it on!

I love the minstrels site, by the way, even if I did just send a grumpy comment.

Fay

William Grey said...

There was a typo in the 5th last line of #1551 which I submitted. As has
been pointed out, "as" should be "was". Please correct in due course.
William Grey

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My two friends
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I hope you like my version! 23jj

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Jaket Kulit said...

Sometimes When I read a poem I feel like I want to quit or that I'm better off without reading it but later on my mind clears again and opens space for wisdom to come in so everything gets clearer

Sofa said...

Loved it - keep them coming
With appreciation

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