Overweight [poem by C.J. Dennis]

[Editor: This poem by C.J. Dennis was published in Backblock Ballads and Other Verses (1913). Most of the poetry of C.J. Dennis is written in the style of the Australian vernacular. See the Glossary for explanations of words and phrases.]


Me heart strings are riven!
I’ve struggled and striven
To pen a neat melody,
Nicely rhymed;
But the rhyming is awful,
The metre’s unlawful;
The soft and the heavy are
Badly timed.

I’m in a quan-dary;
Me large diction-ary
Of rhymes, it refuses to
Ease my state.
The Muses they shun me;
It’s dawnin’ upon me
I’m ridin’ old Pegasus

Despite how I whip, it
Refuses to trip it,
But flounders and falters and
Breaks its stride.
Oh, Muse! Am I clever?
Pray tell me if ever
This poor, patient poet will
Learn to ride.

I’m bound to confess it:
I’m stiffened, and — yes, it
Is awful to know Pega —
Sus will trot
When I want him to canter.
Pray, pass the decanter.
(“Decanter” and “canter l” Now,
Ain’t that rot?)

Whatever I do me
Gross flesh will hang to me.
I’ve trained and I’ve dieted
Past belief.
Still I roll an’ I pitch, an’
Me side’s got a stitch, an’
Oh, Muses! I’m sufferin’!
Grant relief.

I’ve lived for a week on
“Pale moons” without squeakin’,
Existed for months on a
“Sunset glow.”
It’s turnin’ me brain, an’
I’m full up of trainin’.
I’m goin’ to stop. Wo, then!
Pegasus. Wo !

And now, just a few words.
Hi! Call up the stewards!
Oh, rub me out, gentlemen —
Off the slate.
Don’t tarry to try me —
Just disqualify me —
I’m ridin’ old Pegasus

C.J. Dennis. Backblock Ballads and Other Verses, E. W. Cole, Melbourne, [1913], pages 192-193

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