A Song o' Cheer

My Grampa he's a-allus sayin',
" Sing a song o' cheer! " —
And wunst I says " What kind is them? "
He says, — " The kind to hear . —
'Cause they're the songs that Nature sings,
In ever' bird that twitters! "
" Well, whipperwills and doves , " says I,
" Hain't over-cheery critters! "
" Then don't you sing like them , " he says —
" Ner guinny-hens , my dear —
Ner peafowls nuther (drat the boy!)
You sing a song o' cheer! "
I can't sing nothin' anyhow;
But, comin' home, to'rds night,
I kind o' sort o' kep' a-whistlin'
" Old — Bob — White! "
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peterandrewday's picture

What a light-hearted poem! I rate it very highly. And there is an example of crushing bathos (sic) in the lines ' "Well, whipperwills and doves," says I,/"Hain't over-cheery critters!" 'In a world where poetry has become the seeming province of every amateur - great or minor, published or unpublished - who can wield a pretentious pen, this poem rings true, is achingly honest and lacks all affectation. It is not trying to be other than it is, a perfect example of the value of the undervalued.

As Peter Levi so rightly said in 'The Noise Made By Poems' (to paraphrase) 'Poetry is currently undergoing a process comparable to inflation'. In other words, where so much writing purports to be the valid currency of the poetic, the currency itself is worth less and less. The quality of poetry is in the gold of truth behind it. Trite musings might well be true, but they are wide of the mark when it comes to poetic truth. Hell, if that were not true, Homer Simpson would be as great a poet as Homer!

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