Friday, 27 March 2015

The Red Tapeworm - Edward Forbes

Surprises have a way with life, and the spontaneity that they come up with, yields sometimes so much pleasure as much as the incidence of surprise!

As I was gleaning through a 1934 edition of my much loved English Poet, Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959),  that a small chit of a paper (photo shown further down) fell out.  The contents in the paper consisted of a verse "The Red Tapeworm", written by Edward Forbes (1815-1854).

Edgar A. Guest (

I may not be in a position to link these two poets, but I gather, Edgar Guest may have had admiration and therefore the style of observation, as done by Forbes preceding him.

Edward Forbes - (

The humour is striking and most of Guest's poems and verses is all about life and it's many frailties, in as much as Forbes was about nature and thus was a bio geographer! Forbes's poetry reflected much of what life was at that time and how it blended with nature, and similarities!

The Red Tapeworm

In Downing Street the tapeworms thrive,
In Somerset House they are all alive;
And slimy tracks mark where they fall
In and out along Whitehall

 When I am dead and yield my ghost,
Mark not my grave by a government post;
Let wild earthworms with me play
And keep the tapeworms far away

And if I desire to rise,
To a good place in Paradise;
May my soul kind angels guide
And keep it from the official side.

Edgar Guest was a much loved and admired poet who after initial years in England moved on to settle in America, and most of his latter day poems reflect the American ethos!

One of my favorite poems of Edgar Guest has been - Father to Son

The times have proved my judgement bad,
I've followed foolish hopes in vain,
And as you look upon your dad
You see him commonplace and plain.
No brilliant wisdom I enjoy;
The jests I tell have grown to bore you,
But just remember this, my boy:
'Twas I who chose your mother for you!


A few lines as I sign of....

No comments:

Post a Comment