Modernist Canadian Poets
Radical Ridicule
30th Jun 2016Posted in: Modernist Canadian Poets 0

The following are Extracts from a few of the reviews that will doubtless appear concerning Radical Ridicule.
Some others are also quoted on the back inside flap.
The Limes of Literary Supplement of London, Eng.:
A distractedly psychological tour de force, with scarcely an adequate tour and in certain places rather too much force.
The Fascistata of Rome:
No le piace a Mussolini.
{Banned}
Price $1.50

Published by
MACDONALD
GALLERIES,
26 Grenville Street,
TORONTO
[inside Front Cover]

[3 blank pages]

RADICAL
RIDICULE

by Beaufort Belcher
[unnumbered Page]

Radical Ridicule
Beaufort
Belcher

decorations by
Evan Macdonald

[illustration]

TORONTO
MACDONALD GALLERIES
[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

Radical Ridicule has been set and printed in Pabst type by The Duesbury Printing House in Toronto, Canada. A Limited Edition has been taken from the press of twenty five Copies, printed on a special rag paper, after which the regular Edition has been run off.

Copyright 1935.
All rights reserved for all countries.
[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

Authors Acknowledgment

The Author of these verses wishes, without prejudice, to here express his acknowledgement of the versatility of the inanities of the cartoonist Mr. Macdonald, without whose persistent interference this work might not have appeared so improbable – nay impossible.

His {Mr. Macdonald’s} truly
B. Belcher [unnumbered page]

[blank page]

Introduction

Two men made this book of verse
And dared the immemorial curse
But having writ they’ve moved away
So let the type fall where I may. [unnumbered page]

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

PAGE
Sir Ronald Rigby, Bart 16
Rupert Biddleton Ray-Biddal 18
Alfred Hodgins 20
Reginald Charles Fitz-Hugh, Esq. 22
Walter Le Sage 24
Gustave Borg 28
Euphrates Jones 30
Arctic Circle 33
Old King Cole 34
Dangerous to Lean Out 36
He Told me of the Hippogriff 38
Confirmation {after Gertrude Stein} 42
Toronto 43
My Cousin Arthur 44
The Traveler 46
Mother Nature 47
Advice to the Sage 48
The Amorous Grocer 49
Rufus 50
[unnumbered page]
Ballade of Total Ineptitude 54
Uncle Theodore 56
An Italian 59
Arthurian Legend 60
An Eccentric Comedian 63
To a Mosquito {after Walt Whitman} 64
Things 66
A Frothshire Lad{after A. E. Housman} 69
Marijuana 70
Litany {for use in traffic jams} 75
Niagara Falls 77
[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

[page 16, includes illustration:
SIR Ronald Rigby, Bart]

Placed a hand upon his heart
One long moment held his breath
And his eyes were dark and burning
And his lips were grey as death. 
That wild spirit darkly churning
In the proud and mighty breast
Seemed to tower above the feast.

[illustration]

And he swore “Beyond all question
I’ve acutest indigestion!” [page 17]

[page 18, includes illustration:
RUPERT Biddleton Ray- Biddall]

Was tired and sick to death of it all
So one day about half past four,
Having carefully locked the door
And having spent two hours or more
In bathing and shaving
And in all things behaving
Like a man-about-town and a sociable sinner
And one who’s preparing to go out to dinner,
Placed a noose around his neck,
Then observing a speck,
He banished it with an irascible fleck,
And at length with the knot
Without blemish or spot
And with the deadly ennui which pursues you all 
Dined at his club at seven-thirty as usual. [page 19]

[illustration:
ALFRED HODGINS, R.I.P.]

Thought he could walk upon the sea:
He wasn’t very good at thinking, [page 20]

[illustration]

But brilliant when it came to drinking. [page 21]

[illustration:
REGINALD Charles Fitz-Hugh, Esq.]

Was a most successful and various liar;
He cheated at cards and was loose with women
And he’d drink in a day what a man could swim in. [page 22]

His creditors, when by chance he payed,
Got cheques which invariably ricochetted,
And although I’m not in the habit of knocking
I’m bound to call his behavior shocking.

However, these weaknesses are but human
He might have reformed and turned out a new man
But he added a vice which is really terrific
For it seems that his writing was hieroglyphic.

On the latter count he deserved his lot
(I’m happy to say that they found him shot)
And the newspapers state that the reason for this is
A husband read Mr. what Reg. meant as Mrs. [page 23]

Reginald Charles Fitz-Hugh Esquire 
Was a most successful and various liar.
He cheated at cards and was loose with women
And he’d drink in a day what a man could swim in.

[illustration]

BUT hold!
It appears that a previous page

Has exposed young Reg. to your righteous rage,
So we’ll quickly pass to one Walter Le Sage
Who had nothing in common with Reg. but his age. [page 24]

This Walter Le Sage was a man of ability,
Excellent morals and mental agility,
Whose feet never strayed from the path of propriety,
Chastity, learning and earnest sobriety;
Known far and wide as a pattern of piety. 

His learning, it must be admitted, embraced
Only those studies unsullied and chaste;
To History, for instance, he gave a wide berth, he
Considered it vulgar and mostly unworthy:
Psychology also he scorned, and grew hoarse
In railing against it (he said it was coarse).

His scruples, moreover, rejected the lure
Of practically all of the best literature
But affected that branch of mathematics called “pure”. [page 25]

He pursued, for a short time, an interest in Botany
But soon gave this up and exhibited not any
And, on the contrary, showed indignation

[illustration]

At plants’ shameless habit of fertilization, [page 26]

And returned, in disgust, to abstruse calculation. 
In short, we insist, from Cape Horn to Gibraltar
There never was anyone purer than Walter:
Or, to put it inversely, from Gib. to C. Horn
A more priggish young gentleman never was born.

We regret that we’ve got to confess we cannot
At this present writing assert that he’s shot,
But find consolation in cheerfully stating
That the not-too-fastidious worms are waiting. [page 27]

[illustration]

GUSTAV BORG of the North Lands
Didn’t know his own strength
Until one day with his bare hands
He seized a rod 4 yds. in length 
—1/8 ins. thick and 12 ft. long— [page 28]

[illustration]

And found he wasn’t very strong. [page 29] 

[illustration]

EUPHRATES Jones liked rolling the bones
And he liked fried chicken and good corn pones
But his chief delight was to spend his days or
His evenings polishing up his razor.

Euphrates was a good natured nigger
And try as they might his friends couldn’t figure
Why when the others was buckin’ and wingin’
Playin’ on the old banjo and singin’ 
He would be always sittin’ in the shade
Sharpenin’ and shinin’ that baleful blade. [page 30]

Now Euphrates Jones is dust and bones
And over his grave the wan wind moans
For one hot night, with a strangled cry

[illustration]

He severed the head of a passer-by.
When the Judge said Euphrates stand up and tell [page 31]
The court in your own words, why the hell
Did you cut that nigger, and cut him so bad too
Euphrates answered “Judge ah jess had to.” [page 32]

[illustration]

NEVER voluntarily go
Where there is any ice or snow
And never seek to play the hero
Where the thermometer reads zero 
And never, never, never go
Where it is twenty-two below. [page 33]

[illustration]

OLD king Cole was a merry old soul [page 34]
A merry old soul was he
He called for his wench and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.

Old King Cole is a gloomy Old Soul
As glum as a King can be
For his heart’s delight has skipped in the night
With the first of his fiddlers three. [page 35]

[illustration]

 Il est dangereux
de se pencher au dehors [page 36]
Is a warning you have doubtless
Heard an echo of before
So when travelling never peer
From moving windows but beware see
And remember it is frightfully
Pericolososporghersi [page 37]

[illustration]

HE told me of the Hippogriff,
That flew the unimagined cliff; [page 38]

He told me of the Gorgon’s head, [illustration]
That stared men dumb and stared men dead: [page 39]

He told me of the Trojan fight;
And when he did, I answered, “Quite”!

He told me how Tereus grew wild
To find his wife had slain their child
And served him as hors d’oeuvres to father,
And when he did, I answered “Rather!” [page 40]

But when he told me Life was swell,

[illustration]

I said politely, “Go To Hell!” [page 41]

A door is a door is a door Isadore. [page 42]

[illustration]

I’VE shied at the thought of the Artic
And felt the Equator taboo
But after a year in Toronto
Either will do. [page 43]

[illustration]

MY cousin Arthur is a timid man [page 44]
But sometimes he is moved to sudden anger;
If you should care to strike him, well you can
Without incurring any serious danger;
Or, if you like by all means call him “coward”,
His face will merely flush a sudden red;
You may also add an all familiar low word
And still escape being bashed upon the head:
But never plan to push him in a crowd,
Unless you look attractive in a shroud. [page 45]

[illustration]

MY cousin’s in Somaliland
My brother’s in Marseilles

I know a man from Samarkand 
And many men from Wales
But I maintain that I was once in
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. 

Some like to occupy a pew 
Assimilating sermons
And others like to tell anew
Of how they fought the Germans
But I like making little rhymes
Of Oconomowocan times. [page 46]

[illustration]

NATURE’S second saddest plight
Is that of the Hermaphrodite:
There can’t be any compensation
For ParthenogeneticPropogation. [page 47]

[illustration]

A man of progressive hostility
When approaching the years of senility
   Should attack only older
   Old men I am told or
Young men of excessive debility. [page 48]

[illustration]

RUFUS, the ruby-headed Croatian
Was fond of drinking shaving lotion
Which made him wild and very rude,
And prone to methods rather crude.
A patriot he, of the first water,
Whose ultimate argument was slaughter, [page 50]

[illustration]

Hating!!! With ill-concealed defiance
His country’s Jugo-Slav alliance; [page 51]
His attitude to all the Powers
Was, jugo your way wego ours,
And he was delighted to cut the throat

[illustration]

Of Christian or Turk – or another Croat, [page 52]
Bellowing as he sliced the knaves,
“Croats never, never shall be Jugo-slaves”. [page 53]

[illustration]

THIS noise of children crying out for bread
Is getting positively past a joke;
My wife is seriously ill in bed;

I see from here a sort of bailiff bloke
Beating upon the door and when I woke
At ten this morning feeling rather grey
I found that there was nothing left to smoke:
I think I’ll take a holiday to-day.

Perhaps I shall drop in for a drink with Ned,
He’s a good fellow (though I’ve heard he’s broke)
Or meet John Simon at the Club instead. [page 54]

Lord that reminds me – where’s my evening cloke?
I must have left it at “The Bell and Oak”
When it appeared that someone had to pay:
This seems to be a world of sordid folk,
I think I’ll take a holiday to-day.

Two men with badges and a heavy tread
And faces like a kind of artichoke,
Are driving out my roadster from its shed;
This room is cold – the man who’s hired to stoke,
In lieu of wages seized the bag of coke.
I wish that bailiff chap would go away –
At least his roar’s subsided to a croak:
I think I’ll take a holiday to-day. 

Landlord, this really is the final stroke
Enough to make a chap refuse to stay:
Tomorrow you’ll be sorry that you spoke:
I think I’ll take a holiday to-day. [page 55]

[illustration]

I HAVE an Uncle Theodore
A most intolerable bore
Persistent and determined he
Is tedious to a degree.

He blasted all my early youth
Expounding self apparent truth [page 56]

[illustration]

Embittered my young manhood quite
With precepts uniformly trite. [page 57]

Now I am something over thirty
His tales are definitely dirty

[illustration]

And might have ceased to be a bore
Had I not heard them all before. [page 58]

[illustration]

AN Italian yclept Mussolini
One evening remarked to his weenie
“Through political tricks
   I am in such a fix
To escape it would puzzle Houdini.” [page 59]

[illustration]

THE Ladye Maude was tall and fair
The Layde Maude was dandy [page 60]
A Blessed Damozel was she,
Though somewhat over handy.
The stoutest knights of Arthur’s Court
Were proud to couch their Lances
And peril blithely life and limb
(In short they took their chances)

[illustration]

Against the second stoutest knights [page 61]
To uphold that Ladye’s charms;
And when they’d proved them in the lists

[illustration]

They proved them in her arms. [page 62]

[illustration]

AN eccentric Comedian called Hitler
With a face like a plumber or victualler
   Who flies in a fury
   And curses all Jewry
Amuses us littler and littler. [page 63]

[illustration]

HETEROGENEOUS
Nature,
Heterogeneous me.

O the nonillions, the impious, the diaphanous-winged night singers and mothers of night singers, [page 64]

The sweet teaming choric earth mother fruitful and various in the hot night.

Me succulent and life giving, life recipient and recumbent,

Me and the fountain, the reservoir, the sustaining and sustained.

Wrists and wrist-joints, head, nose, ears, cheeks, forehead, neck and back of the neck,

Upper and lower lip, legs, calves of the legs, ankles (in particular the ankles),

All parts exposed are fruits and well springs for the night prowlers of the air.

Shall you not use me then? Shall you not use me in your struggle against extinction, in your search for the good red blood I cheerfully give now? [page 65]

[illustration]

OH the state is a fat Politician [page 66]
And the church an outworn superstition
Science sags at the knees

[illustration]

And Art’s worse— [page 67]
even trees

[illustration]

I regard with the deepest suspicion. [page 68]

[illustration]

A LONG the hill and field and river
The lads I loved are laid aside;
They took cirrhosis of the liver
And so from too much beer they died.

But when the son of grief at cricket
Stands up to play with a bat and pads
He knows that when he leaves the wicket
There’ll still be beer for living lads. [page 69]

[illustration]

MARIJUANA, called mostly hashish, [page 70]
Is a habit which, once formed, you can’t hold in leash,
And although I’m not certain just how to pronounce it
I’m grimly determined in verse to denounce it,
And it’s here my intention severely to mention
The drug, at the risk of outrageous invention,
And my high moral aim to point out to is users
That they are in the end simply bound to be losers. [page 71]

If by any deplorable chances there’s a lady

[illustration]

Toward whom your intentions incline to the shady,
And should you be thinking its surer and finer,
When during the course of the evening you dine her, [page 72]
To treat her to Marijuana than wine her—
Abandon I pray, your plan, for it may,
In fact I’ll go further and candidly say
That beyond peradventure it WILL go astray,
And you’d best find an easier way to get gay:

For I heard of a bloke who attempted the joke
(He administered it in the form of a smoke)
And when through this culpable means to invoke 
A receptive and much more benevolent attitude
To suggestions which so far she’d met without gratitude.

However, there came a sad end to his yearning
Unscrupulous love, less discerning then burning,
And it gave the events an unusual turning [page 73]
When she thought he was some sort of sea serpent’s larva

[illustration]

And attacked him with vigour and vim and the carver. [page 74]

[illustration]

O GOD of lights that fleer and fly,
And blind lit faces hurrying by,
And jewelled injunctions in the sky,
     And all illumination.

O God of thunders, God of Speed,
Hear us in this our hour of need,
O hear us as we wildly plead
     With line and illustration. [page 75]

Thy sword that flames across our path,
Blot out, we pray, O God of wrath,
And yonder blue Goliath of Gath,
     The symbols of frustration.
Or, if this thing may never be,
God of immutability,
     In gas and supplication.
Grant that our souls take wing to Thee [page 76]

[illustration]

NIAGARA Falls though very grand
Are rather more than I can stand.
Though perhaps I’m judging them in haste
They don’t seem in the best of taste— [page 77]
So very wide and steep and tall,

[illustration]

I’d like a smaller waterfall. [page 78]

The illustrator takes this opportunity to express his surprise that the verses do not greatly detract from the effectiveness of his drawings.

Evan Macdonald [unnumbered page]

[2 blank pages]

The Feuherer of Berlin:
Hitler hat esnichtgern. {Banned}

The Jerusalem Return:
1 [Hebrew Language]

The I-sin-U-sin Daily Thong of Mid Central Western Eastern China:
2. [Chinese Language]

The Coquette of Paris:
C’estune oeuvre la plus magnifiqueque nous n’avonsjamaisvue.

1.Soloman in all his glory never thought of things like these.

2. Riper than a Hundred Year old Egg.
[inside back cover]

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