i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Bad Longfellow - Dirty Boy!

April 20, 2005

Today at work I decided to get a conversation going by asking my coworkers if they had a favorite poem (by an American poet, written after 1915, of course) that I could present for class on Thursday night. It was a moot point since I already have an idea of which poems I'll be reading, but I figured I'd ask anyway to see if anything interesting came up.

The woman next to me said that she had always liked the poem that went "Under the spreading chestnut tree" so I googled it to see what I found and this is what I found:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
The village smith he sat,
Amusing himself
By abusing himself
And catching the load in his hat.

After I found the poem, I read it and looked at her out of the corner of my eye. What kind of school did she attend, I wondered, re-reading to poem to make sure that it wasn't just a trickery of my dirty mind leading me to think holy crap this is not a poem I want to read for class. Finally I couldn't take it. Was this a sick joke played by an older woman on an unsuspecting younger one? Was I just a porndog? What was going on?

"Hey, J, is this the poem? Erm... it's pretty short and... uh, weird?"

She leans over and reads my computer screen and starts laughing "...abuses himself? hahaha"

I blush for being dumb.

Finally, everything gets straightened out and I realize that the poem is this one:

The Village Blacksmith
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (who, btw, does not work for American Lit)

which starts off the same but isn't nearly as... friendly.. as the other one. Whew!

Moira at 01:41 PM :: Comments (0) :: ::
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