A haiku about haiku

Posted: 21 August 2013

I'm still having fun exploring the poetic style of haiku.

Writing a haiku
In seventeen syllables
Is not at all ea.....


Bill Adair

Poem for the Day

Posted: 21 August 2013

One of my favourite songs. A few years later I played the part of Koko in The Mikado but I loved this part and loved singing this song. So full of threat and menace. It was very difficult for such a quiet chap like me to sound threatening and menacing!

A more humane Mikado never
Did in Japan exist,
To nobody second,
I'm certainly reckoned
A true philanthropist.
It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.

All prosy dull society sinners,
Who chatter and bleat and bore,
Are sent to hear sermons
From mystical Germans
Who preach from ten till four.
The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off-hours,
Exhibit his powers
To Madame Tussaud's waxwork.

The lady who dyes a chemical yellow
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figure,
Is painted with vigour
With permanent walnut juice.
The idiot who, in railway carriages,
Scribbles on window-panes,
We only suffer
To ride on a buffer
In Parliamentary trains.

The advertising quack who wearies
With tales of countless cures,
His teeth, I've enacted,
Shall all be extracted
By terrified amateurs.
The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and "ops"
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.

The billiard sharp who any one catches,
His doom's extremely hard —
He's made to dwell —
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that's always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls
On a cloth untrue
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls!

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time ,
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime.
And make each prisoner pent,
Unwillingly represent,
A source of innocent merriment,
Of innocent merriment!

A More Humane Mikdao
Sung by The Mikado in The Mikado
W. S. Gilbert 1836 - 1911

Poem for the Day

Posted: 20 August 2013

When I played the part of Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore, the character of Ralph Rackstraw had the following line: “Sir Joseph has told us that a British Seaman is any man’s equal.” On opening night the actor playing the part was so nervous that he didn’t deliver the line as written by W. S. Gilbert, proclaiming instead that, “Sir Joseph has told us that a British man’s semen is anyone’s equal.” Absolutely true!

When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an Attorney's firm.
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
I polished up that handle so carefullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

As office boy I made such a mark
That they gave me the post of a junior clerk.
I served the writs with a smile so bland,
And I copied all the letters in a big round hand.
I copied all the letters in a hand so free,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

In serving writs I made such a name
That an articled clerk I soon became;
I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit
For the pass examination at the Institute.
That pass examination did so well for me,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
That they took me into the partnership.
And that junior partnership, I ween,
Was the only ship that I ever had seen.
But that kind of ship so suited me,
That now I am the ruler of the Queen's Navee!

I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party's call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.
I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

Now landsmen all, whoever you may be,
If you want to rise to the top of the tree,
If your soul isn't fettered to an office stool,
Be careful to be guided by this golden rule.
Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navee!

When I Was A Lad
Sung by Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore
W. S. Gilbert 1836 - 1911

Poem for the Day

Posted: 19 August 2013

When Britain really ruled the waves,
In good Queen Bess's time,
The House of Peers made no pretence
To intellectual eminence,
Or scholarship sublime;
Yet Britain won her proudest bays
In good Queen Bess's glorious days!

When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte,
As every child can tell,
The House of Peers, throughout the war,
Did nothing in particular,
And did it very well:
Yet Britain set the world ablaze
In good King George's glorious days!

And while the House of Peers withholds
Its legislative hand,
And noble statesmen do not itch
To interfere with matters which
They do not understand,
As bright will shine Great Britain's rays
As in King George's glorious days!

When Britain Really Ruled The Waves
Sung by George, Earl of Mountararat in Iolanthe
W. S. Gilbert 1836 - 1911

Poem for the Day

Posted: 18 August 2013

This was my first G & S principal role. Somewhat typecast I thought!

When a felon's not engaged in his employment
Or maturing his felonious little plan
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is just as great as any honest man
Our feelings we with difficulty smother
When constabulary duties to be done
Taking one consideration with another
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
When constabulary duties to be done, to be done
A policeman's lot is not a happy one

When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling
When the cutthroat isn't occupied in crime
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
And listen to the merry village chime
When the coster's finished jumping on his mother
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun
Taking one consideration with another
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
When constabulary duties to be done, to be done
A policeman's lot is not a happy one

When a Felon's Not Engaged In His Employment
Sung by the Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance
W. S. Gilbert 1836 - 1911

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