The Whale

By Hilaire Belloc 1870–1953 Hilaire Belloc
The Whale that wanders round the Pole   
   Is not a table fish.
You cannot bake or boil him whole,   
   Nor serve him in a dish;

But you may cut his blubber up
   And melt it down for oil,
And so replace the colza bean
   (A product of the soil).

These facts should all be noted down   
   And ruminated on,
By every boy in Oxford town
   Who wants to be a Don.

Source: Complete Verse (1970)

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Poet Hilaire Belloc 1870–1953

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Subjects Pets, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Epigram, Rhymed Stanza

 Hilaire  Belloc

Biography

Hilaire Belloc is considered one of the most controversial and accomplished men of letters of early 20th-century England. An author whose writings continue to draw either the deep admiration or bitter contempt of readers, he was an outspoken proponent of radical social and economic reforms, all grounded in his vision of Europe as a "Catholic society." Although many critics have attacked Belloc's prescriptive polemical works for . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Pets, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Poetic Terms Epigram, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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