Shared posts

12 Jul 22:54

Untitled

by Greg Ross
Martin Bentley

My brain hurts....

This poem’s title is Untitled –
Not because it is untitled,
But because I am entitled
To entitle it Untitled.

If I’d not titled it Untitled,
It would truly be untitled …
Which would make me unentitled
To entitle it Untitled.

So it is vital, if untitled,
Not to title it Untitled,
And to leave that title idled,
As a title is entitled.

– Kenneth Leonhardt

06 Jul 18:08

Sensible Nonsense

by Greg Ross

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jabberwocky.jpg

“Jabberwocky” works wonderfully in German — writer Thomas Chatterton offered this translation to Macmillan’s Magazine in 1872:

Es brillig war. Die schlichte Toven
Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben;
Und aller-mümsige Burggoven
Die mohmen Räth’ ausgraben.

»Bewahre doch vor Jammerwoch!
Die Zähne knirschen, Krallen kratzen!
Bewahr’ vor Jubjub-Vogel, vor
Frumiösen Banderschnätzchen!«

Er griff sein vorpals Schwertchen zu,
Er suchte lang das manchsam’ Ding;
Dann, stehend unten Tumtum Baum,
Er an-zu-denken-fing.

Als stand er tief in Andacht auf,
Des Jammerwochen’s Augen-feuer
Durch tulgen Wald mit wiffek kam
Ein burbelnd Ungeheuer!

Eins, Zwei! Eins, Zwei! Und durch und durch
Sein vorpals Schwert zerschnifer-schnück,
Da blieb es todt! Er, Kopf in Hand,
Geläumfig zog zurück.

»Und schlugst Du ja den Jammerwoch?
Umarme mich, mien Böhm’sches Kind!
O Freuden-Tag! O Halloo-Schlag!«
Er chortelt froh-gesinnt.

Es brillig war. Die schlichte Toven
Wirrten und wimmelten in Waben;
Und aller-mümsige Burggoven
Die mohmen Räth’ ausgraben.

In The Philosopher’s Alice, Peter Heath calls this “easily the best” of the poem’s many translations. “In no other language is elaboration of stucture so readily compatible with entire absence of meaning.”

18 Jun 22:05

Guys and Dolls

by Greg Ross

‘The other day,’ said a man passenger, ‘I saw a woman in an omnibus open a satchel and take out a purse, close the satchel and open the purse, take out a penny and close the purse, open the satchel and put in the purse. Then she gave the penny to the conductor and took a halfpenny in exchange. Then she opened the satchel and took out the purse, closed the satchel and opened the purse, put in the halfpenny and closed the purse, opened the satchel and put in the purse, closed the satchel and locked both ends. Then she felt to see if her back hair was all right, and it was all right, and she was all right. That was a woman.’

The Windsor Magazine, November 1907

It is necessary for technical reasons that these warheads be stored upside down; that is, with the top at the bottom and the bottom at the top. In order that there may be no doubt as to which is the bottom and which is the top, it will be seen to that the bottom of each warhead immediately be labelled with the word TOP.

– British Admiralty, quoted in Applied Optics, January 1968