Friday, April 04, 2008

Inspired, perhaps, by Brian's recent post about a Diplodocus poem, I remember fairly vividly a poem I read aloud in an old college poetry class. I first read about the poem in a dinosaur textbook, and so when that English degree was wrapping up, I found myself reciting said poem in front of an audience. I had to explain that, of course, Stegosaurus didn't actually have two brains, but such a fact was once accepted.

Bert Taylor, 1912:

"Behold the mighty dinosaur
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his power and strength
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe by these remains
The creature had two sets of brains
One in his head (the usual place),
The other in his spinal base.
Thus he could reason "A priori"
As well as "A posteriori."
No problem bothered him a bit
He made both head and tail of it.

So wise was he, so wise and solemn,
Each thought filled just a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong
It passed a few ideas along.
If something slipped his forward mind
'Twas rescued by the one behind.
And if in error he was caught
He had a saving afterthought.
As he thought twice before he spoke
He had no judgment to revoke.
Thus he could think without congestion
Upon both sides of every question.

Oh, gaze upon this model beast;
Defunct ten million years at least."

I love it!

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