Gilbert Keith Chesterton
A Ballad of Abbreviations
The American's a hustler, for he says so,
And surely the American must know.
He will prove to you with figures why it pays so
Beginning with his boyhood long ago.
When the slow-maturing anecdote is ripest,
He'll dictate it like a Board of Trade Report,
And because he has no time to call a typist,
He calls her a Stenographer for short.
He is never known to loiter or malinger,
He rushes, for he knows he has 'a date' ;
He is always on the spot and full of ginger,
Which is why he is invariably late.
When he guesses that it's getting even later,
His vocabulary's vehement and swift,
And he yells for what he calls the Elevator,
A slang abbreviation for a lift.
Then nothing can be nattier or nicer
For those who like a light and rapid style.
Than to trifle with a work of Mr Dreiser
As it comes along in waggons by the mile.
He has taught us what a swift selective art meant
By description of his dinners and all that,
And his dwelling, which he says is an Apartment,
Because he cannot stop to say a flat.
We may whisper of his wild precipitation,
That it's speed in rather longer than a span,
But there really is a definite occasion
When he does not use the longest word he can.
When he substitutes, I freely make admission,
One shorter and much easier to spell ;
If you ask him what he thinks of Prohibition,
He may tell you quite succinctly it is Hell.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Ballad of Abbreviations by Gilbert Keith Chesterton )
- Lacklustre thoughts, Angry Brownbear
- Mindless Wind, Angry Brownbear
- July 14th 2012, Angry Brownbear
- Abode Aroma, Angry Brownbear
- Worth living, gajanan mishra
- Discard your vanity, gajanan mishra
- Musings of Murmur, Angry Brownbear
- Days of Dream, Angry Brownbear
- House, mina lotfi
- Let us try, gajanan mishra
Poem of the Day
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- My Love Is Like To Ice, Edmund Spenser
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Being With You, Heather Burns
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
- Heather Burns
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(21 November 1844 – 19 July 1926)