A correspondant, a noted crime writer, contacted me today re. my Sylvia Plath clerihew, which I recited to him a few years ago, in a taxi up to Lumb Bank after a few beers in Hebden Bridge, and with which I’ve managed to cause a great deal of upset over the years. I sent him the text, after some umm-ing and aah-ing, because I couldn’t work out how to write a lisp. So it’s the first time I’ve written it down, and I’m open to ideas which might improve the written version.
The text reads
Had a taytht for gath.
Thsee couldn’t thtop thmelling
Her Baby Belling.
Fans of the Belling range of cookers will write and point out that they don’t make a gas version of the legandary ‘Baby’. I know, and I’m sorry.
Brings to mind the old Dr Hook classic, Thylvia’s Mother. “… ‘coth Thylvia ith tharting to rain.”
or she didnt care to hear her babies yelling…
How about if the poem’s all standard spelling except for ‘gath’? The joke still stands, but is more snappy. No? The great Ogden Nash was never against inconsistency for the sake of a rhyme – and look what happened to him.
You did ask.