Guy Wetmore Carryl

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Rating: 4.33

Guy Wetmore Carryl Poems

A poet had a cat.
There is nothing odd in that—
(I might make a little pun about the Mews!)

A raven sat upon a tree,
And not a word he spoke, for
His beak contained a piece of Brie.
Or, maybe it was Roquefort.

Most worthy of praise
Were the virtuous ways
Of Little Red Riding Hood's Ma,
And no one was ever

Matilda Maud Mackenzie frankly hadn't any chin,
Her hands were rough, her feet she turned invariably in;
Her general form was German,

Once on a time, long years ago
(Just when I quite forget),
Two maidens lived beside the Po,
One blonde and one brunette.

Once, on a time and in a place
Conducive to malaria,
There lived a member of the race

Since the great, glad greeting of dawn from the eastern hills
Triumphant ran with a shout to the woods below,
With the song in his ears of the clearly clamoring rills
He has lain, like a man of snow,

The giant slept, and pigmies at his feet,
Like children moulding monuments of snow,
Piled stone on stone, mapped market-place and street,
And saw their temples column-girdled grow:

A maiden from the Bosphorus,
With eyes as bright as phosphorus,
Once wed the wealthy bailiff
Of the caliph

A bulrush stood on a river's rim,
And an oak that grew near by
Looked down with cold

The fog slunk down from Labrador, stealthy, sure, and slow,
Southwardly shifting, far inshore, so never a man might know
How the sea it trod with feet soft-shod, watching the distance dim,
Where the fishing-fleet to the eastward beat, white dots on the ocean's rim.

Miss Guinevere Platt
Was so beautiful that
She couldn't remember the day
When one of her swains...

The vainest girls in forty states
Were Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates;
They warbled slightly off the air,
Romantic German songs,

Without the slightest basis
For hypochondriasis
A widow had forebodings
which a cloud around her flung,

There was an ant, a spinster ant,
Whose virtues were so many
That she became intolerant
Of those who hadn't any:

To eastward ringing, to westward winging, o'er mapless miles of sea,
On winds and tides the gospel rides that the furthermost isles are free;

Hear us, Phoebus Apollo, who are shorn of contempt and pride,
Humbled and crushed in a world gone wrong since the smoke on thine altars died;
Hear us, Lord of the morning, King of the Eastern Flame,
Dawn on our doubts and darkness and the night of our later shame!

The light of suns unseen, through depths of sea descending,
Within her street awakes the ghost of noon
To bide its little hour and die unheeded, blending
Into her night that knows nor stars nor moon.

LITTLE Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
(Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat- like the rest of us:

A metropolitan rat invited
His country cousin in town to dine:
The country cousin replied, 'Delighted.'
And signed himself, 'Sincerely thine.'

Guy Wetmore Carryl Biography

Guy Wetmore Carryl (March 4, 1873 – April 1, 1904) was an American humorist and poet. Carryl was born in New York City, the first-born of author Charles Edward Carryl and Mary R. Wetmore. When he was only 20 years old he had his first article published in The New York Times. He graduated from Columbia University in 1895 when he was 22 years of age. During his college years he had written plays for amateur performances. One of his professors was Harry Thurston Peck, who was scandalized by Carryl’s famous quote “It takes two bodies to make one seduction,” which was a somewhat risqué statement for those times. After graduation, in 1896 he became a staff writer for Munsey's Magazine under Frank Munsey and he was later promoted to managing editor of the magazine. Later he went to work for Harper's Magazine and was sent to Paris. While in Paris he wrote for Life, Outing, Munsey’s, and Collier’s, as well as his own independent writings. Some of Carryl's better-known works were his humorous poems that were parodies of Aesop's Fables, such as “The Sycophantic Fox and the Gullible Raven” and of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, such as “The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet,” poems which are still popular today. He also wrote a number of humorous parodies of Grimm's Fairy Tales, such as “How Little Red Riding Hood Came To Be Eaten” and “How Fair Cinderella Disposed of Her Shoe.” His humorous poems usually ended with a pun on the words used in the moral of the story. You are only absurd when you get in the curd, But you’re rude when you get in the whey. —from “The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet” Guy Carryl died in 1904 at age 31 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. His death was thought to be a result of illness contracted from exposure while fighting a fire at his house a month earlier.)

The Best Poem Of Guy Wetmore Carryl

How A Cat Was Annoyed And A Poet Was Booted

A poet had a cat.
There is nothing odd in that—
(I might make a little pun about the Mews!)
But what is really more
Remarkable, she wore
A pair of pointed patent-leather shoes.
And I doubt me greatly whether
E'er you heard the like of that:
Pointed shoes of patent-leather
On a cat!

His time he used to pass
Writing sonnets, on the grass—
(I might say something good on pen and sward!)
While the cat sat near at hand,
Trying hard to understand
The poems he occasionally roared.
(I myself possess a feline,
But when poetry I roar
He is sure to make a bee-line
For the door.)

The poet, cent by cent,
All his patrimony spent—
(I might tell how he went from verse to werse!)
Till the cat was sure she could,
By advising, do him good.
So addressed him in a manner that was terse:
'We are bound toward the scuppers,
And the time has come to act,
Or we'll both be on our uppers
For a fact!'

On her boot she fixed her eye,
But the boot made no reply—
(I might say: 'Couldn't speak to save its sole!')
And the foolish bard, instead
Of responding, only read
A verse that wasn't bad upon the whole.
And it pleased the cat so greatly,
Though she knew not what it meant,
That I'll quote approximately
How it went:—

'If I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree'—
(I might put in: 'I think I'd just as leaf!')
'Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough'—
Well, he'd plagiarized it bodily, in brief!
But that cat of simple breeding
Couldn't read the lines between,
So she took it to a leading

She was jarred and very sore
When they showed her to the door.
(I might hit off the door that was a jar!)
To the spot she swift returned
Where the poet sighed and yearned,
And she told him that he'd gone a little far.
'Your performance with this rhyme has
Made me absolutely sick,'
She remarked. 'I think the time has
Come to kick!'

I could fill up half the page
With descriptions of her rage—
(I might say that she went a bit too fur!)
When he smiled and murmured: 'Shoo!'
'There is one thing I can do!'
She answered with a wrathful kind of purr.
'You may shoo me, and it suit you,
But I feel my conscience bid
Me, as tit for tat, to boot you!'
(Which she did.)

The Moral of the plot
(Though I say it, as should not!)
Is: An editor is difficult to suit.
But again there're other times
When the man who fashions rhymes
Is a rascal, and a bully one to boot!

Guy Wetmore Carryl Comments

Nanno Rose 01 September 2018

I heard that the words to Carryl’s Blue-Beard poem were slightly revised and turned into a popular lugubrious song. Was it ever recorded? ? I can’t find a recording of it. I grew up listening to my mother recite that poem? ! I loved it!

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