Chance can be a fine thing

There was an old man from Downe, Kent
Who found man arose by descent
He said, “This may grate:
But my friends we’re primate,
Give thanks for life’s great accident!”


I’m having fun with this (hey, it’s the weekend and half-term), though I think the affectation affliction will end soon…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Chance can be a fine thing

  1. Richard P. Grant says:

    Don’t give up the day job, Curry.

  2. Henry Gee says:

    Don’t listen to Grant, he’s just jealous.
    If you’ve any more verse, then please tell us.
    But get the right stress
    Or you’ll end in a mess
    And make you look microcephAlous.

  3. Stephen Curry says:

    What day job, Richard? Science is my life…! ;-p
    Granted, it may be small Henry, but it’s perfectly formed. Believe it or not I had given some thought to the metre. This is where I had the stresses (in my own head):
    There was an old man from Downe, Kent
    Who found man a-*rose* by de-*scent*
    He said, “This may grate:
    But my friends we’re pri-*mate,*
    Give thanks for life’s great ac-ci-*dent!*”
    You do have to wrench ‘accident’ a bit to put the stress on the final sylllable, rather than the first (which would be more normal). And should I have the same number of syllables in lines 3 and 4? I’m seriously interested.
    This is so ‘open notebook’ – Cameron must be very proud…

  4. Henry Gee says:

    The stresses fall into the right beats as far as the metre is concerned, but do not always coincide with the sense or natural accent of the words. The first line doesn’t do it for me, but that’s probably just a matter of taste. ‘Found’ and ‘Primate’ also seem a bit forced. Hey, just ignore me. How about
    There was an old fellow of Downe,
    Who achieved universal renown.
    He said “the direction
    Is natural selection,
    But I’d rather not say so in town.”

  5. Stephen Curry says:

    Cheers Henry – see what you mean about the first line but that was what occurred to me first so I was loathe to drop it. But Downe is too forceful just before Kent. I’m still reasonably happy with found and primate – it is a fun form of poetry so I will allow myself a little licence (but shall aim higher next time!)

  6. Henry Gee says:

    Good for you!

Comments are closed.