Magazine article The Spectator

Reductio Ad Absurdum: Jaspistos

Magazine article The Spectator

Reductio Ad Absurdum: Jaspistos

Article excerpt


I happen to be rereading this week.

A plane-crash: young lads are enisled;

Without grown-ups' laws they turn wild.

Ralph and Jack vie to rule

As though prefects in school,

But contention is not reconciled.

A conch-shell keeps order when blown:

Piggy's specs are the sine qua non

For survival; they're broken,

And by this grim token

The seeds of destruction are sown.

Piggy's murdered, the island's ablaze;

Ralph mourns for lost, innocent ways.

Rescue's not far behind,

Yet the beast in mankind

Will beset them the rest of their days. (Mike Morrison)

The ultimate act of Creation

Provoked an archangel's vexation;

The war he began

Was in envy of Man

`Let him share my enforced degradation!'

A dream of a garden to trip in

Was Adam and Eve's: let him slip in

And, shaped like a snake,

He'd persuade them to break

Their Lord's ban on a cognitive pippin.

They'd been warned - but the serpent succeeded.

The knowledge? That fig leaves were needed;

And with Paradise lost

There'd be birth pangs and frost

And all gardens would have to be weeded. (Mary Holtby)

Raskolnikov's life isn't sunny,

He pawns a few things to get money

From a greedy old witch

Who is stinkingly rich;

To kill her, he thinks, would be funny.

He'll show the old hag who's the master,

No more than a louse he has classed her;

So he goes to her flat,

And he kills the old bat,

But her sister disturbs him - disaster!

He suffers ill-health and delusion,

His mind is a mass of confusion;

When a wily old sleuth

Exposes the truth,

Crime is punished - a novel conclusion. (Frank McDonald)

Troy reels as Greek army attacks,

But Achilles gets into a wax

And refuses to fight Because of some slight

Differential in loot. …

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