Monday, March 19, 2012

TC Rhyme

I want to propose a contest as to who can write the best rhyme to help teach the second century manuscripts to students. I've had a brief go myself (I was once a buddying lyricist) and here's what I've come up with:

If textual criticism is your favorite ship
Then learn the names of the early manuscripts
Don't fry your brain, this ain't penitentiary
Just learn the one's from the second century
P52 is at the John Rylands Library
It's gone bits of John 18  in all of its finery
p46 is the earliest copy of the letters of Paul
It's mostly Chester Beatty if you recall
P77 has part of Matthew 23 my son
While P104 has part of  Matthew 21

To be continued!


Peter M. Head said...

How are we to know which manuscripts come from the second century?

Peter M. Head said...

Sorry, that should have been rhyming:

Isn't there a general difficulty
Dating to the second century?
Basing it on previous consensus
Only four would be in our conspectus

Tommy Wasserman said...

There are six of seven more unseen,

at least according to Carroll and Green,

in a year we hope for evidence from Brill,

to see whether it is apologetic overkill.

Anonymous said...

‎...But p32 has a lot more in store. It testifies to the canonical recognition of alleged pseudepigrahical lore. With this little scrap the ivory tower of such postulates lies in schabbles and a heap. Because the best that has been mustered is now fully blown, in its threadbareness repleat.

The White Man said...

I hate to come across as crass;
are there no daughters in your class?

Peter M. Head said...

A manuscript of Marcion
would also be of great concern

Peter M. Head said...


Peter M. Head said...

In spring a youth thinks of dating
Not recognising problems he is creating
But at least we can know
Without any further ado
That the manuscripts so far are not faking

Peter M. Head said...

I blame it on the medication

Anonymous said...

If large omnicrom is the deciding factor
and decorative ligatures sign their own full weight
then doubtless do Head and Wasserman together swallow such tail-tail signs hook, line and sinker to be able to date?

Timo Flink said...

"To check or not to check?" What a variant!
"To add or not to add?" Such a radiant!
"To omit or not to omit!" Kind of a mediant!

and I cannot claim the medication :)

P.J. Williams said...

It looks like none of us has missed a calling to be a poet.

W. Andrew Smith said...

While I have used the term "palimpsest" in a song of mine (which received local radio play here in the US), I've never considered writing lyrics about TC.

And I think that's probably for the best.

Anonymous said...

Were p39 never yet seen
Before it was bought by Green
How long, how long would it be, I mean,
Before publication ever had been?

Drew Longacre said...

Why speak of such late papyri?
I'll far surpass all ye!
Look now at 4QSamuel(b)...
Now that's third century!

Elijah said...

Then said Wallace, "A most curious anomaly,
A second century sermon on Hebrews--a homily!"

Tommy Wasserman said...

PMH: "I blame it on the medication."

I have heard you TC rhyming before, I am thinking of the limerick at the party after my thesis examination – I thought this was an Australian predisposition, limerick being the national verse form (or were you on medication?).

Stephen Goranson said...

Limerick as an "Australian predisposition"? Limerick poems are known from at least early 19th-century Britain, but they received the name Limericks decades later (1880 is the earliest attested use I found, in a Canadian newspaper). I think they are called Limericks in reference to the Treaty of Limerick. During the American Civil War (which saw publication of many limericks) the phrase "come to Limerick" meant settle, come to the point, or give up. In games, an invitation to come to Limerick apparently was a challenge whether the next contestant could deliver a new limerick. I say the British poem form got its Irish name in America.
Reference: G. Cohen ed. "Stephen Goranson's research into -limerick-: a preliminary report." "Comments on Etymology" vol. 40 no. 1-2. (Oct.-Nov. 2010) pages 2-11

Tommy Wasserman said...

Stephen, I never suggested that the limerick was an Australian invention (I think it is older than the 19th century). I was just under the impression that it was popular in Australia. Apparently, David Dale, author of The Little Book of Australia – A snapshot of who we are (Allen and Unwin) agrees.

Stephen Goranson said...

Sorry, Tommy, if I seemed critical; it's not my wish to slight you or Australia. I may have used a poorly-worded segue to note a possible origin story I happened upon. I suggest that other proposed explanations for the naming of Limericks concentrated on usage in the UK and Ireland, whereas I was surprised to find a related sense of "come to Limerick" earliest in North America (well before the OED references). (If anyone is interested in the proposed evidence, I'll send a pdf.)

Peter M. Head said...

I believe that limericks are popular in Australia. And that probably reflects the influence of the Irish and English folk who came out to that great land in the South

Peter M. Head said...

Limericks also offer an interesting example of an informal controlled oral tradition. E.g. as long as you have Darjeeling, Ealing and ceiling in the right place and the metre right there can be acceptable variation in the wording (e.g. train/bus; boarded/got on; stood up/carefully, wall/door etc.):

There was a young man from Darjeeling,
Who got on a bus bound for Ealing.
It said at the door:
"Don't spit on the floor."
So he carefully spat on the ceiling.

Peter M. Head said...

There was a young man named Peter
Who wasn't strong on dactylic hexameter
He preferred poems that rhyme
At least most of the time
So he liked his limericks better.

Peter Malik said...

In making these manuscript recollections
Let's not forget that these had corrections
Which, alas, was the most corrected of all?
By an Egyptian mount, some wished it to call.

Peter M. Head said...

Apparently it is World Poetry Day: see here for some interaction (alas no limericks):