Poem: The Literary Hero by Ironbark (G. Herbert Gibson) - Part 1

 cannot write in "flowing style" or wield a "mobile pen" --
To use the cant of books that rant of literary men --
I cannot "dash off" poetry, and often have regrets
That I'm not like the writers they describe in novelettes.
They always have ideas of the most attractive brand,
And flinty-hearted editors just taken 'em by the hand,
And load 'em up with whisky and Egyptian cigarettes,
While they write their way to glory -- that's the way in novelettes.
Oh! the shilling novelette! I must own I've got a "set"
On the preternatural pressman of the shilling novelette.

The literary hero's pen runs like an auto-car,
In quickest time he "jerks" a rhyme or "fakes" a comic par;
Collectors prize his signature -- he laughs a scornful laugh
As with his auto-mobile pen he pens his autograph.
It doesn't matter what he writes, or how he slings it out,
Or whether it's in prose or verse, or what it's all about;
It always knocks the public, and with shekels fills the net
Of the Admirable Crichton of the silly novelette.
Oh! the silly novelette! Just the greatest fraud I've met
Is that quill-propelling person in the silly novelette.

He writes an ode at six years old that takes the town by storm;
At twelve attains the highest planes of literary form,
And editors of magazines crawl half across the town
To beg a page of priceless "screed," and plank their guineas down,
He climbs Fame's ladder at a bound or two, the novels say,
(Of course, for he's a "bounder" too -- but that is by the way).
But how the public eulogise, and how the critics pet,
The literary flier of the spicy novelette!
Oh! the spicy novelette! I've a very heavy debt
Which I mean to settle some day with the spicy novelette.

First published in The Bulletin, 12 July, 1906.

[This poem will be concluded next week.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 27, 2006 2:35 PM.

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