The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159532   Message #3779955
Posted By: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
20-Mar-16 - 06:59 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Canopus
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Canopus

When quacks with pills political would dope us,
When polictics absorbs the live-long day,
I like to think about the star Canopus
So far, so far away.

Greatest of visioned suns, they say who list 'em;
To weigh it science always must despair
Its shell would hold our whole dinged solar system,
Nor ever know 'twas there.

When temporary chairmen utter speaches,
And frenzied henchmen how their battle hymns,
My thoughts float out across the cosmic reaches
To where Canopus swims.

When men are calling names and making faces,
And all the world's ajangle and ajar,
I meditate on interstellar spaces
And smoke a mild seegar.

For after one has had about a week of
The arguments of friends as well as foes,
A star that has no parallax to speak of
Conduces to repose.

Notes to poem:
"This poem, by the late B.L.T., first appeared in the Line o' Type column of The Chicago Tribune."

"The star so favorably mentioned in this poem is just south of Treasure Island. In fact, our residence has been called the Half-Way House to Canopus. Canopus is visible from all parts of the Island. It is seen to advantage from the parapet of Fort Canopus, but the best view is from the Watch Tower, which is a quarter of a mile nearer the star."

(The Island Song Book: Foreword by John and Evelyn McCutcheon, Privately Printed at The Chicago Tribune Tower, Jan. 15, 1927)

Notes: The lyrics appear both as a poem and set to music. Bert Leston Taylor was a much-in-demand navigator in his "spare time." Charles Atkinson was an in-law of the Shaws and the family arranger-banjoist.