Here are some recent additions of pig poetry to the Best Loved Pig Poetry section of the Arnold Ziffel Memorial Library. Enjoy the pigs and the poetry, indulge your porcine predilections and investigate the rest of Porkopolis.org. Get your tail in a curl, and give no mind to the fools with cats in their bags…
This update starts with several stories with morals, all crafted in poetic fashion. Here are two ways of looking at Tom, that famous pig thief of childhood rhymes. Tom has matured now, but he is still stealing pigs.
Nursery Rhymes, Morals & Allegories
- Adams, Oscar Fay
- Thomas and Vivian
- Carryl, Guy Wetmore
- The Inexcusable Improbability of Tom, the Pipers Son
Then two poets consider the similarities of pigs and men. First, a work about loose or unmanaged pigs, a real nuisance in Medieval and Renaissance times, gives cause to wonder about how secure our own lives are from violent reprisal or elimination. And what of fatted swine? In this second work we wonder if such swine ripen for the butcher’s stall just as zealous men ripen for judgment.
- Aneau, Barthélémy
- Mors perniciosorum gratissima
or The Death of a Nuisance – Glad Tidings
- Mors perniciosorum gratissima
- Bunyan, John
- Of the Fatted Swine
Next, are several warnings we have all probably heard, but might not remember… Look up pig, if you can – the sun, moon and stars are shining above the mud and mire that surrounds you now… Judge as your true friends those only whom you are certain know your own true worth… And lastly, it is bad when wise folks do not offer praise, but when fools do, it is worse.
- Dodge, Mary Mapes
- The Pig and the Lark
- Linley, George
- The Wild Boar and the Singing Birds
- Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
- Rain and Rainbow
- Iriarte, Tomás De
- Fable III – The Bear, the Monkey and the Hog.
- Fable LIII – The Lamb and His Two Advisers.
Recognition & Classification Through Vocabulary
Vocabulary is a powerful tool in this world for making classifications. Its strength is not solely in its flexibility to craft new words, but also because it allows us to categorize individuals by their speech, accents and the very words they choose. Vocabulary is a tool yes, but not unerring – prince or pigman, paladin or provocateur – just how do we finally decide?
Curiosities & Aspects of Existence
Here, one poet admits to the complicated allure of the dangerous, while another poet uses pigs to look at how we build our hell or palace with the materials life gives us, and how this determines what manner of existence we struggle through.
Elsewhere, a pig tries to mark a young boy with the pain of worm parasites, while other pigs are driven into spellbound woods. And finally, domestic pigs loose their tamed spirit and never serve men’s purposes.
- Whitcomb, Katharine
- A Poem Without a Boar
- Davies, Hilary
- The Prisoner of Katyn
- Gay, Ross
- Song of the Pig Who Gave the Poet, Age 3, Worms
- McAlmon, Robert
- The Wild Boar
Warnings to Us All
Here, a pinnacled swineherd illustrates how money is a proven path to legacy. In a review of his boar hound and boar, Elliot’s honesty is questioned amidst a lament on the extinction of English boars. Then it is suggested that the transition from childhood to adulthood, for pigs at least, is as simple as saying “Wee!” or “Umph!”.
Here also, the near idyllic life of swine turns to a sanguinary tide of butchers, banquets and horror. And lastly, pigs learn, as brides might also, not to get on the bad side of a man with fury in him, even if it’s buried deep.
- Cooper, Thomas
- The Swineherd of Stow
- Davie, Donald
- Wild Boar Clough
- Scott-Gatty, Alfred
- The Three Little Pigs
- A Sequence to the Three Little Pigs
- Fergusson, Robert
- The Sow of FEELING
- McCabe, Victoria
- What the Bride Saw
Ritual & Memory
Do you remember when you last met a swineherd or witnessed a hog butchering? The shared experiences of these next three poems make life just a tiny bit more all-inclusive for both pigs and humans. Here are some alternative views of events that are just as common ‘elsewhere’ as your daily exploits seem to you, suggesting this world has far more complexity than anyone’s daily life lets them imagine.
- Jackowska, Nicki
- Matanzas in the Bath Arms
- Kinsella, Thomas
- Prologue (an excerpt from the ‘Wormwood’ poem sequence)
- A Technical Supplement (excerpt)
- Szirtes, George
- Howard, Elizabeth
- The Rendering
And Bashful Bob, a wise and resourceful humor poet, leaves us with a final chuckle and an image of a dinner with swine.
- Wombacher, Bob Jr.