Tongue Tied
PublishedJuly 15, 2012 CategoryBertie’s Book of Improbable Sheep

Tongue Tied

The human is inclined to preach
The merits of his mode of speech
Over those of us who choose
The languages of baas and moos;
And, ipso facto, is inclined
To think his quality of mind
Outshines all animals and birds,
By virtue of this use of words.

Yet, in so doing, he ignores
The message of his metaphors;
Which, you may notice, seldom find
Much inspiration from mankind.
Their writers, for the most part, feast
On nature, botany and beast,
Of which their literature is full,
Not people – infinitely dull.

Thus Wordsworth wanders like a cloud,
Or talks of daffodils aloud;
Budding poets tell their tales
In terms of larks or nightingales.
Not one would choose to waste his pen
On boring similes of men,
Nor find his inspiration tending
Towards metaphors of man ascending.

For all his elegance of phrase,
There’s little that his language says
To rival how the blackbirds sing
Their perfect consonance of spring;
Nor how the waking robin gives,
Without recourse to adjectives,
Such evocation of the dawn,
In one short cadence on the lawn.

What animals and flowers hear
Defeats man’s onomatopoea,
While pyramids of words conceal
Some lost capacity to feel.
For every new-born lamb well knows,
Without the benefits of prose,
That singing in creation’s song
Needs feeling deeper than the tongue.


( from Bertie and the Younger Set..)

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A Ram Too Far