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Michael Gregory reads Ogden Nash's poem, "Very Like a Whale".

Michael Gregory:

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I'm Michael Gregory from the channel schmoyoho and I'm gonna be reading "Very Like A Whale" by Ogden Nash, because the 'snow is like a blanket' metaphor has gotta stop and we've gotta stop it now.

Very Like a Whale

One thing that literature would be greatly the better
Would be a more restricted employment by authors
       of simile and metaphor.
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons   
       or Celts,
Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is
      but have to go out of their way to say that it is
      like something else.  
What does it mean when we are told
That the Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
In the first place, George Gordon Byron had had 
    enough experience
To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it
    was a lot of Assyrians.  
However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apo-
     plexy and thus hinder longevity,
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whose co-
     horts were gleaming in purple and gold,
Just what does the poet mean when he says he came
     down like a wolf on the fold? 
In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our
     philosophy there are a great many things,
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf
     with purple and gold cohorts or purple and gold
No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this As-
     syrian was actually like a wolf I must have some 
     kind of proof; 

Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and
     a big red mouth and big white teeth and did he
     say Woof woof woof?  
Frankly I think it very unlikely, and all you were en-
     titled to say, at the very most,
Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot
     of Assyrian cohorts to destroy the Hebrew
But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear
     me no, he had to invent a lot of figures of speech
     and then interpolate them,
With the result that whenever you mention Old Testa-
     ment soldiers to people they say Oh yes, they're 
     the ones that a lot of wolves dressed up in gold
     and purple ate them.
That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time 
     by poets from Homer to Tennyson;
They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to 
And they always say things like that the snow is a white
      blanket after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch
      blanket of snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch 
      blanket of unpoetical blanket material and we'll
      see which one keeps warm,
And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend
What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.