Joan Butler: Bibliophrolic



I’m feeling rather naughty – let’s uncork the Oxford Shortie,
put the effervescent essence of Britannica on ice;
with such vintage verbal vino we can have a proper beano
and, with deference to Reference, now wouldn’t that be nice!
We can shed our inhibitions in those heady old editions
such as Brewer’s Phrase and Fable – that’ll make the party swing,
and with liberal libations out of Humorous Quotations
and a chorus from Thesaurus, we can make the rafters ring.
Oh, the world is free of hassle with a Collins or a Cassell!
Is the Chambers nicely chambré? Then I don’t mind if I do.
With a Webster or a Longman life’s a lyric for a song, man,
and I think I’m getting slowly alcoholier than you.
Bring the Scholes and bring the Drabble! I’ll take on the world at Scrabble!
Bring the Partridge and the Fowler! They’re not strictly for the birds!
Bring me Homer! Aristotle! Let me broach another bottle
for a toast to Doctor Johnson and the wacky world of words!