Can't remember what this poem is called.

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Churchill
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Can't remember what this poem is called.

Post by Churchill »

I know many of you will know it.

A fellow tries to escape death and the place he goes to run away is the exact place where death happens to be waiting for him. That's pretty much the premise.

Do you know what it is called?

The likely covid lab leak made me think of it. Gain of function research to get a vaccine for a potential virus that doesn't and likely wouldn't exist, creates the virus in the first place that escapes. Bloody ironic.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."

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Pyrrho
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Re: Can't remember what this poem is called.

Post by Pyrrho »

"The Appointment in Samarra", W. Somerset Maugham

http://pioneer.chula.ac.th/~tpuckpan/Ma ... marra.html
SHEPPEY. Look 'ere, you ain't come 'ere on my account?

DEATH. Yes.

SHEPPEY. You're joking. I thought you'd just come to 'ave a little chat. I'm sorry, my dear, there's nothing doing to-day. You must call again some other time.

DEATH. I'm too busy for that.

SHEPPEY. I don't think that's treating me right. Coming in all friendly and pleasant. If I'd known what you was after I'd 'ave nipped off with Cooper when 'e asked me.

DEATH. That wouldn't have helped you much.

SHEPPEY. I wish now I'd gone down to the Isle of Sheppey when the doctor advised it. You wouldn't 'ave thought of looking for me there.

DEATH. There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

SHEPPEY. (with a shudder) D'you mean there's no escaping you?

DEATH. No.
The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
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ed
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Re: Can't remember what this poem is called.

Post by ed »

There is also the Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Ambrose Bierce) that is similar ..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Occurr ... eek_Bridge

My reference is better because you can watch it and you will not fatigue your lips with unnecessary movement.
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ed
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Re: Can't remember what this poem is called.

Post by ed »

And it's not a poem you illiterate jackanapes.

Though thinking about it, I recall something. Gotta think.

I provisionally recall my insult.
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Churchill
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Re: Can't remember what this poem is called.

Post by Churchill »

That's the one Pyrrho, thanks!

Thanks for the link to the Owl Creek Bridge one Ed.

I do nor recall anyone other than my dad (who used it once) use jackanapes in a sentence. Do you have an old timey dictionary by your computer?

Sure, it is more of a story or anecdote rather than a poem. I mis-remembered. Not sure if that exactly makes me illiterate πŸ™ƒ
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."

John Stuart Mill
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robinson
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Re: Can't remember what this poem is called.

Post by robinson »

The story is an Ancient Mesopotamian tale that first appears in the Babylonian Talmud. Making it a really really old story.
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ed
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Re: Can't remember what this poem is called.

Post by ed »

Churchill wrote: ↑Mon May 24, 2021 2:18 am That's the one Pyrrho, thanks!

Thanks for the link to the Owl Creek Bridge one Ed.

I do nor recall anyone other than my dad (who used it once) use jackanapes in a sentence. Do you have an old timey dictionary by your computer?

Sure, it is more of a story or anecdote rather than a poem. I mis-remembered. Not sure if that exactly makes me illiterate πŸ™ƒ
No. I found it in a story somewhere ages ago. I subsequently berated an employee with it. The rest of my company found it amusing. It was never lived down.
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