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Saturday
Jan232010

A Poem for Burns Night

With Burns Night just a couple of days away, I thought I might share my own personal favourite recitation. No, not by the bard himself, but by that other great wordsmith, Monty Python. I once heard Michael Palin recite this at Edinburgh Book Festival, and ever since it’s amused me. So if you’re looking for a party piece with a difference while tucking into Haggis, neeps, and whisky at your Burns Supper, here’s an offbeat idea for you…

Much to his Mum and Dad’s dismay,
Horace ate himself one day.
He didn’t stop to say his grace,
He just sat down and ate his face.

“We can’t have this!” his dad declared,
“If that’s lad’s ate, he should be shared”.
But even as he spoke they saw
Horace eating more and more.
First his legs and then his thighs,
His arms, his nose, his hair, his eyes…

“Stop him someone!”, Mother cried,
“Those eyeballs would be better fried!”
But all too late, for they were gone,
And he had started on his dong.
“Oh! Foolish child!” the father mourns,
“You could have deep-fried that with prawns,
Some parsley and some tartare sauce…”

But H. was on his second course:
His liver and his lights and lung,
His ears, his neck, his chin, his tongue;
“To think I raised him from the cot,
And now he’s going to scoff the lot!”

His mother cried: “What shall we do?
What’s left won’t even make a stew…”
And as she wept, her son was seen
To eat his head, his heart, his spleen.

And there he lay, a boy no more,
Just a stomach on the floor…
None the less, since it was his
They ate it. That’s what haggis is!

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