i read a piece some years ago that was extremely amusing for my english class, it never directly talked about sexually things but it alluded to them: "the head stared at me angrily red..." or something like that, it had a medieval flavor to it:
"an i would shoot over your impenetrable wall.." or something like that...please help...
also i think it was written by some nobleman back in the day...
Could it be by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647-1680)?
Or in some texts he is just called Lord Rochester.
You might like to check out these links -
oops, try again -
Except that he died less than twenty years ago, it sounds very like Down, Wanton, Down by Robert Graves.
"The pen is mightier than the sword"
ITs DOWN WANTON DOWN BY ROBERT GRAVES
Danrasa - click on Flat View, you'll see someone got there before you!
If you're looking for poems in general with, er, anatomical euphemisms, then there's this classic one by A.D.Hope, from Collected Poems 1930-65:
My foundling, my fondling, my frolic first-footer,
My circler, my sidler, shy-sayer yes-and-no,
Live-levin, light-looker, darter and doubter,
Pause of perhaps in my turvey of touch-and-go;
My music, my mandrake, merrythought to my marrow-bone,
Tropic to my true-pole and ripe to my rich,
Wonderer, wanderer, walker-in-wood-alone,
Eye-asker, acher, angel-with-an-itch;
My tittup, my tansy, tease-tuft in tumble-toil,
My frisker, my fettler, trickster and trier,
Knick-knacker, knee-knocker, cleaver in kindle-coil,
My handler, my honeysuckler, phoenix-on-fire;
My cunny, my cracker-jack, my cantrip, my kissing-crust,
Rock-rump and wring-rib in wrestle of randy-bout,
Lithe-lier, limber-leg, column of counter-thrust,
My heave-horn, my hyphener, dew-dealer in-and-out;
My, ah, my rough-rider now; my, oh, my deep-driver,
Burly-bags, bramble-ball, brace-belly, bruise-bud,
Shuttle-cock, slow-shagger, sweet-slugger, swift-swiver,
My, YES now and yes NOW – rip, river and flood!
My breacher, my broacher, my burst-boy, my bubblejock,
My soberer, slack-soon, numb-nub and narrower,
My wrinkler, my rumplet, prim-purse of poppycock,
Slither-slot, shrivel-shaft, shrinker and sorrower;
My soft-sigher, snuggle-snake, sleeper and slaker,
My dandler, my deft-dear, dreamer of double-deal,
And, oh, my wry-writher, my worker and waker,
Stirrer and stander now, fledge to my feel;
My prodigy, prodigal, palindrome of pleasure,
Rise-ripe and rive-rose, rod of replevin,
Now furrow my fallow, now trench to my treasure,
Harvester, harbinger, harrow my heaven.
There's also The Portions of a Woman by A P Herbert, which is great fun - but I can't find an internet source
marian2, that one has been ascribed to A P Herbert, but he denied it and I don't believe it, for the reasons I posted in the Poetry Library Lost Quotations site when it was operating. See:
Sorry I have forgotten how to shorten these very long addresses!
I would guess W.S.Gilbert ...
It does sound like Sir William Schwenck, that's fer sure. If he really WAS the author, no doubt he would deny it vehemently.
"Enthusiastic amateurs who dabble in topography
Have all the main essentials well in hand."
On an only somewhat related note, I read a cartoon today where the young, physically-well-endowed woman says to the suitor "I'm sorry, but there's just no chemistry between us." He replies, "How about some topography?"
Thanks for enlightening me, Ian. I think I discovered the poem from the first bit of that Poetry Quotations posting, before you added your comments but never read the rest - I wasn't a frequent visitor to that site. I didn't realize the old PQ postings were still accessible, so am doubly grateful.
. . I'd assumed Herbert denied it through embarassment, because he'd only made it up when bored, for a bit of fun, and it didn't fit his image. It does sound a lot more like Gilbert.
please have you got somewhere SUMMARY of
AP.HERBERT: After the battle=poem
i need a summary or review of it for monday evening.
can you help me??
Hmmm ... there's them bays again.
After the Battle
So they are satisfied with our Brigade,
And it remains to parcel out the bays!
And we shall have the usual Thanks Parade,
The beaming general, and the soapy praise.
You will come up in your capricious car
To find your heroes sulking in the rain,
To tell us how magnificent we are,
And how you hope we'll do the same again.
And we, who knew your old abusive tongue,
Who heard you hector us a week before,
We who have bled to boost you up a rung -
A K.C.B. perhaps, perhaps a Corps. -
We who must mourn those spaces in the mess,
And somehow fill those hollows in the heart,
We do not want your Sermon on Success,
Your greasy benisons on Being Smart.
We only want to take our wounds away.
To some warm village where the tumult ends,
And drowsing in the sunshine many a day,
Forget our aches, forget that we had friends.
Weary we are of the blood and noise and pain;
This was a week we shall not soon forget;
And if, indeed, we have to fight again,
We little wish to think about it yet.
We have done well; we like to hear it said.
Say it, and then for God's sake, say no more.
Fight, if you must, fresh battles far ahead,
But keep them dark behind your chateau door!
- A.P. Herbert
It's about the army hierarchy, class, and how the men are treated compared to the officers. You could do it by making a list of contrasts between the officers and men eg the officer drives his car, presumably from his comfy billet at the chateau, to talk to the men who are camped out in the rain. It's about who does the fighting and gets wounded and who gets the credit,vand about the way the men are wonderful when they've won a fight and rubbish the rest of the time in the eyes of this particular commander. You could look at some of Kipling's poems - Tommy is a good one on a similar theme, but it is the public's attitude he's upset about rather than the officers:
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play, <br />
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play, <br />
O it'sThank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees
Wellington also made a famous remark that you might work in 'Ours (referring to 'our army') is composed of the scum of the earth - the mere scum of the earth.' Considering how loyal they were to him and how many victories he won with them that's pretty rich! I always think he was trying to make himself sound an even better commander of men, along the lines of 'if I can achieve all this with such poor material, think what I could do with a decent army.
Always check quotations: What Wellington actually said was "among the ranks of our army we have the scum of the earth enlisted for drink"- a rather less sweeping and accurate remark. Wellington was equally harsh on the officers: he remarked that the sergeants of the guards always got drunk at the end of the day - but at least, he said, the sergeants did their duty and then got drunk and that was all that kept the guards going.
The contrast in Herbert's poem is not between officers and men- Herbert was an officer himself- but between fighting soldiers and a "chateau general" [the term was commonly used to describe senior generals in WWI itself] abstractly planning a slaughter with the staff miles behind the lines.
The source of my verbatim quotation was the Oxford Book of Quotations, Revised 4th Edition page 727 number 11 and they sourced it from Philip Henry Stanhope's Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington (1888) - 4 November 1831. Like most professional talkers, Wellington probably said it more than once and in slightly different ways.
I came across it in one of Patrick O'Brian's books, myself.
Certainly: as I said, it is in full more complicated and less contemptuous than the plain quotation. Less memorable too. Certainly, Wellington himself was not at all a chateau general. Richard Aldington- another WWI officer- contrasted him with Haig and co. in his biography.
I've not come across that one before, and it's great fun! Thanks so much for posting it, Abbey.