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warty bliggens the toad -- Don Marquis

Guest poem submitted by Martin Davis:
(Poem #1723) warty bliggens the toad
 i met a toad
 the other day by the name
 of warty bliggens
 he was sitting under
 a toadstool
 feeling contented
 he explained that when the cosmos
 was created
 that toadstool was especially planned for his personal
 shelter from sun and rain
 thought out and prepared
 for him

 do not tell me
 said warty bliggens
 that there is not a purpose
 in the universe
 the thought is blasphemy

 a little more
 conversation revealed
 that warty bliggens
 considers himself to be
 the centre of the said
 universe
 the earth exists
 to grow toadstools for him
 to sit under
 the sun to give him light
 by day and the moon
 and wheeling constellations
 to make beautiful
 the night for the sake of
 warty bliggens

 to what act of yours
 do you impute
 this interest on the part
 of the creator
 of the universe
 i asked him
 why is it that you
 are so greatly favoured

 ask rather
 said warty bliggens
 what the universe has done to deserve me

 if i were a
 human being i would
 not laugh
 too complacently
 at poor warty bliggens
 for similar
 absurdities
 have only too often
 lodged in the crinkles
 of the human cerebrum

 archy
-- Don Marquis
        From "archy and mehitabel", 1927.

I really enjoyed Saturday's grook.  It's great when something makes you
laugh out loud.  It put me immediately in mind of 'warty bliggens the toad'
by Don Marquis, which isn't on the Minstrels site yet, so I reproduce it
here in case Piet Hein triggers a rush of similar thoughts.

Back in the mists of time (the 70s) when I used to teach 11 year olds, we
always used to have fun with this poem.  It's like the tale of the Sunday
School teacher who is telling her group the parable Christ told of the
Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18: 9-14).

 'Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other
was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this:
"God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners,
unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a
week. I give tithes of all that I get." But the tax collector, standing far
away, wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying,
"God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" I tell you, this man went down to his
house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will
be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.'

And then the teacher says to the children, "Now then, boys and girls, put
your hands together and let's all thank God that we're not like that smug
Pharisee!"

Cheers,
Martin Davis.

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