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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Poetry Corner

The time being ripe for another game, but Lady Bracknell still being in indifferent health, here is one which is neither competitive nor difficult, but which should serve as a form of gentle, civilised entertainment.

The first player quotes a favourite line of poetry.

The object of the game is for each subsequent player to provide one line beginning with the final letter of the line played immediately prior to his or her "go". This to continue until either the players' fund of poetry-knowledge has been exhausted, or the game has ceased to be entertaining.

Contributions must be drawn from respected poems widely available in the public domain: this is not an opportunity for persons such as Dude the chauffeur to submit lines from ribald (and, possibly, self-penned) limericks.

Persons who submit lines with which the other players are unfamiliar must be prepared to provide a link to an online copy of their chosen poem, if so challenged.

Lady Bracknell will begin with:


Say not the struggle naught availeth

79 Comments:

Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Had we but world enough, and time

12:11 pm  
Blogger Anniina said...

Even such is time, that takes on trust

3:39 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

The last and lingering troubador to whom the bird has sung

3:58 pm  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Go, catch a falling star. Get with child a mandrake root.

4:37 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World

5:19 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

Drink to me only with thine eyes.

5:43 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

So like a shattered column lay the king

6:49 pm  
Blogger Mr Chuckles said...

Godolphin Horne was Nobly Born

7:16 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Nevermore! Quoth the Raven.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Now spake the Emperor to all his shining battle forces

8:33 pm  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

She walks in beauty, like the night

9:16 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

"Tirra lirra," by the river / Sang Sir Lancelot

9:24 pm  
Blogger La Nouvelle Heloise said...

than houses and steeples and clouds: go sailing

12:18 am  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

'Twas brillig and the slithy toves/ Did gyre and gimble in the wabe

1:01 am  
Blogger Anniina said...

That time of year thou mayst in me behold

1:03 am  
Blogger Katie said...

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was

1:26 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze - / On me alone it blew.

7:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I consider how my light is spent

8:32 am  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Where I find her not, beauties vanish

8:49 am  
Blogger Mary said...

We're off to see the wizard / the wonderful wizard of Oz

9:16 am  
Blogger Anniina said...

When you are old and grey and full of sleep

9:26 am  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

What's in a name? That which we call a rose would smell as nice with any other name.

If I remember correctly....

9:35 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell can only wish to have linguistic talents as far-advanced as those of Mone, and hopes that the good lady in question will not be offended by the following correction:

... by any other name would smell as sweet.

9:41 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

The splendour falls on castle walls / And snowy summits old in story

9:42 am  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Yonder's a plum-tree with a crevice
An owl would build in, were he but sage;

10:15 am  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose would smell as nice with any other name."

~*~*~*~*~*

Mone

"You haven't read Shakespeare until you've read him in the original Klingon!" (General Chang)

Dude

10:26 am  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

Lady Bracknell, thanks for the correction. I wasn't too sure about the correct wording when I wrote this.

Dude, Shakespeare's English is a bit like Klingon to me...

11:38 am  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I think the last challenge is Dude's E, so:

Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!

12:26 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Death be not proud, though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadfull

1:21 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Don't whisper promises of tomorrow,
thinking that I'll still be there.

1:24 pm  
Anonymous The Comeback Kid said...

Day-o, day-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Me say day, me say day-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home

1:25 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell would remind The Comeback Kid - whoever he is - and Mary that players of the game are required to quote lines of poetry.

The last time Lady Bracknell looked, lyrics from popular songs did not fall within the generally-accepted definition of poetry.

All "goes" in which song lyrics are quoted should therefore be ignored for the purposes of advancing the game.

1:34 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Even such is Time, which takes in trust/Our youth, out joys, and all we have,/And pays us but with age and dust;/Who in the dark and silent grave,/When we have wandered all our ways,/Shuts up the story of our days:/And from which earth, and grave, and dust,/The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.

I hope Lady Bracknell will forgive this full rendering from Sir Walter Ralegh, entitled "Epitaph", but I thought she may appreciate it, given her recent conversation with her medical man.

1:37 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Very definitely forgiven, under the circumstances... :-)

1:43 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo:
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do).

2:32 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow/creeps on this petty pace from day to day.

3:46 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Ye hooded witches, baleful shapes that moan

5:00 pm  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade

6:23 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

No Spring, nor Summer Beauty hath such grace/As I have seen in one Autumnal face.

6:33 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Eagle of Austerlitz! where were thy wings

7:53 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone/Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone

7:59 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Say not the struggle naught availeth

8:00 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Unfortunately, Mr Dawson is now "out" because he has repeated the original "go".

8:04 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Ere frost-flower and snow-blossom faded and fell, and the splendour of winter had passed out of sight

8:08 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I wondered why that line seemed so familiar!

8:19 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Indeed.

It is a stirring poem, and its first line is something of a mantra in Bracknell Towers.

8:25 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

There's a whisper down the line at 11:39/When the Night Mail's ready to depart

11:11 pm  
Blogger Bishop said...

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...

4:12 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Departing summer hath assumed / An aspect tenderly illumed

6:35 am  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Did they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill?

8:11 am  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Do not go gentle into that good night

8:28 am  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

Is the game still on?

"Töne, Lied, aus weiter Ferne,
Säusle heimlich nächster Nähe,
So der Freude, so dem Wehe!"

- Goethe -

I may have disqualified me by quoting a poem in German, but I couldn't resist ;-)

9:53 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Far from disqualifying herself, Mone has just earned extra points for widening the scope of the game.

Players who provide lines of poetry in languages other than English are, however, politely requested to provide a translation so that their contributions can be appreciated by all.

10:00 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Every valley drinks,
Every dell and hollow:
Where the kind rain sinks and sinks,
Green of Spring will follow.

10:20 am  
Blogger Anniina said...

Enough; and leave the rest to Fame!

10:28 am  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Even as a child my face was “gloomy.”
I found few reasons to smile, none to laugh:

12:00 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths

12:55 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Soft, low and sweet, the blackbird wakes the day

1:49 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Yon strange blue city crowns a scarped steep

2:02 pm  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

Sorry for not providing a translation. Here we go:

"Töne, Lied, aus weiter Ferne,
Säusle heimlich nächster Nähe,
So der Freude, so dem Wehe!"

"Tingle, song, so far away,
whisper secretly so close,
for my joy and for my sorrow!"

6:01 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Why have such scores of lovely, gifted girls/Married impossible men?

6:47 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck

7:46 pm  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go

9:57 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Kinde pitty chokes my spleene; brave scorn forbids/Those teares to issue which swell my eye-lids;/I must not laugh, nor weepe sinnes, and be wise,/Can railing then cure these worne maladies?

10:01 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Split open the kegs of salted sprats,/
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, /
And even spoiled the women's chats, /
By drowning their speaking /
With shrieking and squeaking /
In fifty different sharps and flats.

10:34 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

Split the lark and you'll find the music.

11:15 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

She walks in beauty, like the night/Of cloudless climes and starry skies

1:43 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Some primal termite knocked on wood /
And tasted it, and found it good! /
And that is why your cousin May /
Fell through the parlor floor today.

(Lady Bracknell has a deplorable weakness for the works of Ogden Nash.)

2:37 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Yes, I remember Adlestrop -

(apologies for quoting from a poem that attempts to rhyme "mistier" and "Gloucestershire")

5:23 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Pet was never mourned as you

5:39 pm  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Sorry, Sphinxqueen, I think you're out! I already used She walks in beauty .... in post 8.

5:51 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Not so.

The rules of tne game do not preclude the playing of a line from a poem previously plundered, so long as the line originally played is not repeated.

(NB Any suggestion that Lady Bracknell may be making the rules up as she goes on will not be tolerated. It would, at the very least, be difficult to prove.)

6:03 pm  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop. said...

Erm, it is repeated :)
I wouldn't have mentioned it if it were a different line altogether.

(It's only a game)

9:33 pm  
Anonymous SphinxQueen said...

Mea culpa - I did indeed repeat the line. I retire, bloodied, but unbowed.

10:45 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell offers her abject apologies to Dame Glossop for the error, and sincerely hopes that the good Dame will find it in her heart to participate in any further games which her ladyship may initiate in future.

Dame Glossop is always a most welcome visitor to these pages.

As, of course, is the Sphinx Queen who has played the poetry game with spirit and enthusiasm.

Should there be any players remaining with a will to continue the game, the last valid "go" (at the time of writing) is (by virtue of the repetition which broke the rules) that of the Goldfish.

7:56 am  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

chemvaH qIj ghobtaH mughato', ta' Degh luneHmo' chaH,
veng naQDaq Haw'taH mughato', ghaH tlha'lI'mo' chemvaH.
chaHvaD 'Iwghargh nobta' yej 'ej qagh ror nobta' qum;
ro'qegh'Iwchab nobDI' QaS, vengvo' chaH ghImmeH ghum.


Translation by Lewis Carroll:-
The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown:
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town.
Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown:
Some gave them plum-cake & drummed them out of town.

(Not Shakespeare I grant you, but I think you'll agree that Klingon poetry does have a charm all of its own.)

Dude

9:00 am  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage

(having a Sylvia Plath moment)

10:52 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Ere sleep comes down to soothe the weary eyes

10:22 am  
Anonymous Dame Honoria Glossop said...

stray fish head from a garbage cart


(Mehitabel is one of my favourite poetry heroines)

5:39 pm  

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