Daily Archives: October 23, 2010


My colleague (the professor said)
Is most remarkably well read
And of her learning justly proud,
But not, alas, well read aloud.
Her Dante and her Goethe both
She knows — but knows as “Dante” and “Goethe,”
And eyebrows rise at cocktail parties
When she drops the name “Descartes.”
She knows her Nietzsche well, and yet she
Always used to call him “Nietzsche.”
(Having learned that wasn’t right she
Changed, and now she calls him “Nietzsche.”)
I could go on. I might portray
The way she mangles poor “Sartre”;
And others of like magnitude,
From “Euripides” to Sigmund “Freud,”
Make apt examples of her gift,
But — well, I think you get my drift.
However, just as people say,
A broken clock’s right twice a day.
Though names she doesn’t botch are few, one
She gets right is Byron’s Juan.


Filed under Language, Oddities, Poetry