Canada, (b. 1945)
Whoso Squeals or Grunts
- Whoso squeals or grunts, I know where is a boar,
- But as for me, I’ll hunt, and hit his hind.
- His vain travail to even up the score
- Does not avail to cut him from the grind.
- Yet may I, by all means, pursue the blind
- beast, lay him low, and as he blurts off before
- Taunting I follow. I’ll pourchasse therefore,
- Since in a net I know I’ll hold his wind.
- When he is spent, I ken I’ve got him pinned,
- As well as done, for he’s a poor roughneck.
- For snorting with bristles that puff his neck
- He is cornered, and makes a puling sound,
- “Noli me frangere, for rabid I am,
- And musky as hell, though I am ham.”
Richard Vallance notes that he:
recently composed this little ditty, as a parody of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s, Whoso List to Hunt. Rest his soul, this sonnet is in nowise aimed at his lofty genius. It is simply intended as a jibe against so-called pundits, who prize themselves as being literary and poetry critics, when “malheuresement”, they fall somewhat short of the mark.
Here is the original sonnet by Sir Thomas Wyatt:
Whoso List to Hunt
- Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
- But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
- The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
- I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
- Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
- Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
- Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
- Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
- Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
- As well as I may spend his time in vain.
- And graven with diamonds in letters plain
- There is written, her fair neck round about:
- Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am,
- And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.
Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–1542), was born in Kent, England. Wyatt was an ambassador to France and Italy for King Henry VIII. Wyatt’s travels abroad exposed him to different forms of poetry, which he adapted for the English language — most notably, the sonnet.
Rumored to be Anne Boleyn’s lover, Wyatt spent a month in the Tower of London until Boleyn’s execution for adultery. Many consider his poem “Whoso List to Hunt” to be about Boleyn.
About the Poet:
Richard Vallance (b. 1945), is a Canadian poet. Vallance earned an Honours B.A. at Sir Wilfred Laurier University (1968), and a Master of Library Science degree at the University of Western Ontario, London (1975).
After that Vallance worked for several years as a Reference Librarian, first at Sudbury Public Library, then Alqonquin College of Arts and Technology (Ottawa), and finally, the University of Ottawa.
Vallance is the editor of the international, multilingual sonnet anthology, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes / Le Phénix Renaissant de ses Cendres, Friesen Press, Victoria, B.C. (2013). [DES-06/14]
- The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes / Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres – an anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium. Victoria, B.C.: Friesen Press (2013)