poetry

September 08th, 2014

Rereading my books, I found this piece. You may call it old-fashioned, but it is what it is. I enjoy others being passionate about their new versions and I wish them well. For me, with writings like this, I am and always will be an 1895 Sherlockian.

“Chips”


Sonnet on Baker Street

Quick, Watson, quick! (he says) the game’s afoot:
Perhaps it’s only Scandal in Bohemia,
Or maybe Speckled Band, or Devil’s Root,
Or famous sleuth who’s dying of Anaemia–
The Dancing Men, Chicago’s smartest crooks
Have given us the code: we’ll fool that party —
These are not merely episodes in books,
But the Crusade of Holmes and Moriarty.

So bring the fiddle and the dressing gown,
And Mrs. Hudson, and brave Scotland Yard,
And Watson by the jezail bullet lamed–
We rattle in a hansom back to town.
If this is fancy, history’s debarred:
If this is fiction, let fact be ashamed.

                  —Christopher Morley; On Sherlock Holmes.

A Poem for Sherlock Holmes

This poem comes to me by the courtesy of Bill Peschel who has a interesting site which includes a section called the Poems for Sherlock Holmes. Bill says, “This poem, by journalist John Northern Hilliard, was published in 1922, was written after Holmes’s final retirement in “His Last Bow.”” I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do, although I do not know how. This poem brings out in me those special, indescribable feelings of joy and peace I get whenever I go back to Baker Street.

Sherlock Holmes
By John Northern Hilliard

When Sherlock Holmes, ingenious man, pursued his strange career,
we followed his deductions with an interest sincere.

Although in his time his victories monotonous became,
we must admit that since he quit work, life’s never been the same.

He always kept his wits on tap, he always had a clue,
he always could foretell just what a criminal would do.

A bit of string, a button, or a half smoked cigarette
made up the only evidence that Sherlock Holmes need get.

And when he bagged his man and had him safe behind bars,
he’d tell the tale to Watson over coffee and cigars.

Friend Watson then would spin a yarn from details of the case,
and label it “The Tonkin Three” or “Mystery of a Face.”

We have detectives who are shrewd, detectives who are wise,
detectives who, like M. Lecoq, are experts at disguise.

We have detectives whose brave deeds would fill a dozen tomes,
but never one that can compare with Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Dupin’s “Rue Morgue” deductions we today vote rather “slow,”
for Sherlock would have solved the case in half a day or so.

The novels of Gaboriau, the tales of Mrs. Green,
were tossed aside when Sherlock Holmes appeared upon the scene.

So here’s to Sherlock Holmes and may his glory never dim,
and here’s to his friend Watson for his faithfulness to him.

And here’s to Conan Doyle, may he attain the prophet’s span,
and all his life just write of Holmes, that great and noble man.

Chips

From Ron Lies and Sandy Kozinn: An Ode

Our Maven of Miscellanea, Ron Lies “Chips” of Denver, who sends us wonderful tid-bits he finds in his Watsonian and Sherlockian peregrinations, suggested we offer the Ode written by Sandy Kozinn “Roxie”.  Ron writes:

“Buttons, I read this and thought it would be a good piece to put in our blog. I wish you and yours all the best for a blessed and wonderful Christmas and all things great for next year. Please extend all my hopes and wishes for the holiday season to all the members of our Society.”

“Roxie” writes:

“There are always new Sherlockians.  Some of them may actually have never seen this, a toast I presented to a Blue Carbuncle Dinner meeting of The Three Garridebs some years ago. It’s another take on that old question:  What was that stone, anyhow?”

ODE ON THE O.E.D. ON THE CARBUNCLE, or What Was it, Anyhow?

Each year we meet to greet and dine,
Perhaps to sip a glass of wine
In honor of the carbuncle blue.
A carbuncle blue?  It can’t be true!
As I glanced through the O.E.D.
Three definitions popped out at me.
A carbuncle stone, it clearly said,
Was a precious stone of a fiery red.
A carbuncle could be a red facial spot,
An infection or a tumor, but both red hot.
There’s one thing more that it could be:
A small lump of coal, quite black to see.
Such coal in a goose would be quite shocking.
(It really belongs in Moriarty’s stocking.)
But if Mycroft Holmes had sired a child
(And I admit that idea is wild)
And if Sherlock were sad on the day that he sat
For Oscar Meunier — did you get all that? —
And Oscar worked in coal, then that statue or trunk’ll
Turn out to have been a blue carb uncle.
But a statue in black, the size of a bean
In the crop of a goose might never be seen.
So what was the stone?  what color?  what kind?
There’s only one answer I’m able to find.
Since Watson wrote “scintillatingly brilliant blue”
Then what must have happened — I leave it to you —
Was:  He made a mistake!  There’s a very good reason,
For Watson, like us, was toasting the season.