September 12, 2011

(To Be Read Aloud Rapidly)

Eugene Field's poem, "A Play On Words" is dated September 12, 1883.  Under the title, the Missouri-born poet added a subtitle — or, perhaps more accurately, instructions:

"A Play On Words"
(To Be Read Aloud Rapidly)

Assert ten Barren love day made
   Dan woo'd her hart buy nigh tan day;
Butt wen knee begged she 'd marry hymn,
   The crewel bell may dancer neigh.
Lo atter fee tin vein he side
   Ant holder office offal pane—
A lasses mown touched knot terse sole—
   His grown was sever awl Lynn vane.

"Owe, beam my bride, my deer, rye prey,
   And here mice size beef ore rye dye;
Oak caste mean knot tin scorn neigh way—
   Yew are the apple love me nigh!"
She herd Dan new we truly spoke.
   Key was of noble berth, and bread
Tool lofty mean and hie renown,
   The air too grate testates, 't was head.

"Ewe wood due bettor, sir," she bald,
   "Took court sum mother girl, lie wean—
Ewer knot mice stile, lisle never share
   The thrown domestic azure quean!"
"'T is dun, no farebutt Scilly won—
   Aisle waiste know father size on the!"
Oft tooth the nay bring porte tea flue
   And through himself into the see.

It will take a couple reads to get it all. Good luck.

1 comment:

  1. The worst part about this challenging poem is the bemused image of Field at the top, as if he's taunting me with his cleverness, ready to laugh at how difficult I'm finding his poem.