by Warron Prentice.
When I saw the above painting, the first thing I thought of was the poem, The Microbe. This is another poem that I was introduced to by Gene Wilder when he starred in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), except he quoted the last two lines of this poem instead of the first two as he did for yesterday’s poem. (Has anyone noticed how that particular film is crammed with brief quotes from lots of fabulous poetry? And the film made learning this poetry so painless, too). Anyway, this particular poem is a rather inaccurate and out-of-date description of a bacterium, but I am sure that you — and especially my blog sibling, Tara — will enjoy it anyway!
by Hilaire Belloc
The microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all.
But many sanguine people hope
To see him down a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tail with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen -
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us they must be so …
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!
From More Beasts for Worse Children (1900).