Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I Had a Hippopotamus

I had a hippopotamus; I kept him in a shed
And fed him upon vitamins and vegetable bread;
I made him my companion on many cheery walks
And had his portrait done by a celebrity in chalks.

His charming eccentricities were known on every side,
The creature's popularity was wonderfully wide;
He frolicked with the Rector in a dozen friendly tussles,
Who could not but remark upon his hippopotamuscles.

If he should be afflicted by depression or the dumps,
By hippopotameasles or the hippopotamumps,
I never knew a particle of peace till it was plain
He was hippopotamasticating properly again.

I had a hippopotamus; I loved him as a friend;
But beautiful relationships are bound to have an end;
Time takes, alas! our joys from us and robs us of our blisses;
My hippopotamus turned out a hippopotamissis.

My housekeeper regarded him with jaundice in her eye;
She did not want a colony of hippotami;
She borrowed a machine-gun from her soldier-nephew, Percy,
And showed my hippopotamus no hippopotamercy.

My house now lacks that glamour that the charming creature gave,
The garage where I kept him is as silent as the grave;
No longer he displays among the motor-tyres and spanners
His hippopotomastery of hippopotamanners.

No longer now he gambols in the orchard in the Spring;
No longer do I lead him through the village on a string;
No longer in the mornings does the neighbourhood rejoice
To his hippopotamusically-modulated voice.

I had a hippopotamus; but nothing upon earth
Is constant in its happiness or lasting in its mirth.
No joy that life can give me can be strong enough to smother
My sorrow for that might-have-been-a-hippopota-mother.

- Patrick Barrington

5 Comments:

Blogger sanchez said...

Your taste in poetry is amazing. Really.

12:31 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Assalamualaikum sister,

I just read the stuff. You, on the other hand, can write it. Masha-Allah, Have you seen my donkey? is one of the most enjoyable poems I've read. You ought to republish it on your blog so that newer visitors can enjoy it too.

1:36 PM  
Blogger baj said...

salaam! i love it! henceforth i am going to refer to these mosquito bites on my upper arms as hippopotamuscles. and kk, you don't just read it, you share it with those of us who need to hear it too. :) bravo!
--hippopotamonkey

2:52 PM  
Blogger yasmine said...

I third what everyone else has said. Bro, I think you must be the only blogger I know who can post multiple copy-pasted entries in a row and get away with it, because the pieces you choose are so thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking, mashaAllah. So thank you much. Also, the variations of "hippopotamus" remind me of Baji's periodic plays on "interrobang." =)

8:32 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Assalamualaikum, baji and yasmine,

Jazak Allah for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoy the poems. And yes, they remind me of baji's variations on interrobang too! She's just cool like that, I guess. Whattoodoo . . .

10:46 AM  

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