Sunday, 14 November 2010

John Manifold

At The Dabbler there is a beautiful collection of poems to commemorate Remembrance Sunday. Among them is John Manifold's "The Tomb of Lt. John Learmonth, A.I.F."

Manifold was a versatile poet. When not in elegiac mood, he occasionally turned his hand to humour:

"On the Death of Mr Holt

Only a week before Christmas,
   The happiest day of the year,
They held a wake for Harold Holt,
   And the bigwig guests came here.

Bonnie Prince Charlie came owre the sea
   With Wilson, who never smiles,
And L.B.J. from the U.S.A
   And the king of the Cannibal Isles;

Chaps from Siam and from South Vietnam
   And the Philippines too, I think;
Some for the sake of the free, free world,
   And some for the free, free drink.

They made long speeches and shed loud tears
   To propitiate Harold's ghost,
And the king of the Cannibal Isles got up
   To propose a final toast.

He said: "We have had such a splendid time,
   Such generous Christmas cheer,
We hope you'll be able to drown a Prime
   Minister every year!"


  1. starting with John Howard.....

  2. No need to get personal, Nurse.

  3. Did you hear about the shark that came to a screaming Holt?

  4. There are no jokes like the old jokes.