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poem about gossip
Posted by: Chris Collins (
Date: April 04, 2005 08:19PM

I am wondering if anyone could point me to the complete text of a poem written by Anonymous about gossip? I vaguely remember that Gossip is compared to a snake.

Not very much to go on but any help would be much appreciated.


Re: poem about gossip
Posted by: J.H.SUMMERS (
Date: April 04, 2005 10:16PM


Here is a shot in the dark, sorry, no snake.


Have you ever heard of Gossiptown
On the shore of Falsehood Bay,
Where Old Dame Rumour with rustling gown
Is going the livelong day?
It isn't far to Gossiptown
for people who want to go,
The Idleness train will take you down
In just an hour or so.
The thoughtless road is crowded, you'll find,
For most folks start that way;
But it's all down hill and, if you don't mind,
You'll land in Falsehood Bay.
You glide through the valley of Wicked Talk,
And into the tunnel of hate;
Then, crossing the Bitterness Bridge,
You walk right into the city gate.
The principal street is called "They Say,"
And "I've heard" is the public well,
And the breezes that blow from Falsehood Bay
Are laden with "Don't you tell!"
In the midst of the town is Telltale Park--
You're never quite safe when there;
For its owner is Madame Suspicious Remark,
Who lives in the street "Don't Care."


Post Edited (04-04-05 22:54)

Re: poem about gossip
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: April 05, 2005 04:09AM

I know this isn't the right one, but it sprang to mind and I couldn't resist the temptation to post it as it is such a favourite of mine:


by Ogden Nash

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip
In the course of a cosy little chat,
And I often wonder why
My neighbors all imply
I'm a pussy, I'm a tabby, I'm a cat.
Mrs. Dooley murmured "Miaow!" at me this morning;
Mrs. Cohen would have cut me if she could;
But my feelings aren't so filmy
That names are going to kill me,
And a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip;
I am pleased with Mr. Moffat's double life.
It's provocative to watch
Mr. Taylor guzzle scotch;
I wonder if he knows about his wife?
The sheriff wants a word with Mrs. Walker;
She doesn't pay her bills the way she should;
Yet I hear from several sources
That she gambles on the horses -
Oh, a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip;
It seems to lend a savor to my tea;
The deplorable mistakes
That everybody makes
Are calories and vitamins to me.
If I tell you Mrs. Drew is off to Reno,
You are not to breathe a word, that's understood;
For I said to Mrs. Drew
That I heard it all from you -
Oh, a little bit of gossip does me good.

Oh, I do like a little bit of gossip,
But for scandal or for spite there's no excuse;
To think of Mrs. Page
Telling lies about my age!
Well, her tongue is like her morals, rather loose.
Mrs. Murgatroyd eats opium for breakfast,
And claims I'm running after Mr. Wood;
That sort of vicious slander
Arouses all my dander -
But a little bit of gossip does me good

Re: poem about gossip
Posted by: ilza (
Date: April 05, 2005 07:52AM

another by Nash

There are two kings of people who blow through life like a breeze,
And one kind is gossipers, and the other kind is gossipees,
And they certainly annoy each other,
But they certainly enjoy each other,
Yes, they pretend to flout each other,
But they couldn't do without each other,

Because gossipers are lost without a thrill and a shock,
Because they like to sit in rocking chairs and gossip and rock and rock and gossip and rock,
And if the gossipees weren't there to give them a thrill and shock their life would be rocking and no gossip,
Which would be a flat as music without people named Sacha and Yehudi and Ossip,
While on the other hand everybody errs
If they think the gossipees could be happy without the gossipers,
Because you don't have to study under Freud or Adler or Coué,
To know that it isn't any fun being a roué if nobody notices that you are a roué,
And indeed connoisseurs agree
That even gossipers don't know anything about gossip until they have heard one gossipee gossiping about another gossipee.
Another good thing about gossip is that it is within everybody's reach,
And it is much more interesting than any other form of speech,
Because suppose you eschew gossip and just say
Mr. Smith is in love with his wife.
Why that disposes the Smiths as a topic of conversation for the rest of their life,
But suppose you say with a smile, that poor little Mrs. Smith thinks her husband is in love with her, he must be very clever,
Why then you can enjoyably talk about the Smiths forever.
So a lot of people go around determined not to hear and not to see and not to speak any evil,
And I say Pooh for them, are you a man or a mouse, are you a woman or a weevil?
And I also say Pooh for sweetness and light,
And if you want to get the most out of life, why the thing to do is to be a gossiper by day and gossipee by night.

Ogden Nash, from I'm a Stranger Here Myself


Yehudi: Yehudi Menuhin, a violinist later conductor. He debuted with the San Francisco Symphony at age 7. Age 80 in 1996.
Ossip: Ossip Gabrilowitsch, a Russian maestro. Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Freud: Sigmud Freud, Austrian neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis.
Adler: Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychiatrist.
Coué: Emile Coué, a physician who studied hypnosis and suggestion.
roué: man devoted to a life of sensual pleasure

A snake in her mouth ?
Posted by: ilza (
Date: April 05, 2005 07:58AM

could it be 'A snake in her mouth',
by Nila NorthSun ?

I am trying to find it, but I just wonder whether you remember if this is
the title of the one you want . . .

Re: A snake in her mouth ?
Posted by: Chris Collins (
Date: April 06, 2005 09:35PM

Hello all

Thank-you for your replies. My brother, who is a lifer in Canada, changed the words to a poem, but he no longer has that original poem. The original speaks about gossip and its destructive effects on people's lives.

My brother's adaptation is about IPSO (Internal Preventative Security Office) which is a department in Canadian Federal prisons. We would like to publish it to the web but want to give the words and the origin of the original poem as well.

The website is [] if anyone wants to take a look smiling smiley

Anyway, this is my brothers adaptation - hoping it will ring some bells in somebody's memory.


My name is IPSO.
I have no respect for Truth.
I have no respect for Justice.
I am remorseless, cunning and malicious.
You find me hissing in secretive conversations,
then furtively hiding in secret letters and notes.
I squirm my way into official prison documents,
reports and assessments.
The more I am quoted, the more I am believed.
I duplicate and grow stronger with age.

I flourish in every corner of the prison system.
My victims are helpless and can not protect
themselves against me, I am faceless and nameless.
It is impossible to expose me, the harder you try
the more elusive I become. I am nobody=s friend.
I pollute reputations with lies.

I slander people & demolish relationships.
I silently defame, disgrace and embarrass,
I insidiously extinguish dreams and crush the
hopes of innocent people. I destroy opportunities
to be released from prison. I cause sleepless nights
and heartache, I spawn suspicion and create grief.
I am called IPSO, hear the hiss of a
snake in the grass when my name is spoken.




Re: poem about gossip
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: April 07, 2005 10:24AM

Re: poem about gossip
Posted by: Chris Collins (
Date: April 07, 2005 09:04PM

That is the one. Thanks very much!


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