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Jack and Jill… by Walt Whitman?

Well, I don’t know about any of the other Brits in the audience, but I could do with some light relief after a week of political intrigue! Hopefully this will be the very thing to cheer us up. From the Oxford Book of Parodies, edited by John Gross, here is the nursey rhyme Jack and Jill, as Walt Whitman might have written it.

I celebrate the personality of Jack!
I love his dirty hands, his tangled hair, his locomotion blundering.
Each wart upon his hands I sing,
Paeans I chant to his hulking shoulder blades.
Also Jill!

Her I celebrate.
I, Walt, of unbridled thought and tongue
Whoop her up!
Her golden hair, her sun-struck face, her hard and reddened hands;
So, too, her feet, hefty, shambling…

[And a good deal more in the same vein]

Charles Battell Loomis

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