“Ode to an Expiring Frog”

Allow me to celebrate, with Pickwickians everywhere, this, from the illustrious hand of no less a personage than the grand and eloquent authoress, Mrs. Leo Hunter:

‘Can I view thee panting, lying
On thy stomach, without sighing;
Can I unmoved see thee dying
On a log,
Expiring frog!’

‘Say have fiends in shape of boys
With wild halloo, and brutal noise
Hunted thee from marshy joys,
With a dog,
Expiring frog!

(Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 188-89)

3 thoughts on ““Ode to an Expiring Frog””

  1. Hi – I wonder whether you are a Pickwick Papers fan as you talk of “celebrating with Pickwickians everywhere”? Also, I wondered what prompted you to post about the expiring frog on that particular day. Anyway, if you are a Pickwick-fan you might be interested in taking a look at my forthcoming novel Death and Mr Pickwick, which tells the story behind the creation of The Pickwick Papers. You can find out more at: http://www.deathandmrpickwick.com I am always happy to chat to another Pickwick-enthusiast, so if you feel like getting in touch please do so. I can be contacted by the website. Best wishes Stephen Jarvis

    PS I have also set up a facebook page for the novel at http://www.facebook.com/deathandmrpickwick where I post bits and pieces of Pickwickiana on a daily basis.

  2. Stephen, thanks for reaching out. Pickwick Papers happens to be my favorite Dickens novel, and one of my favorite books. So thanks for sending along the website; I will take some time to look at it soon. As to the “Ode”, I posted it the day I read it. Dickens does a masterful job weaving this foolish earnestness into a serious book. I love how he demonstrates that serious things need not be somber. I’m currently in the middle of PhD work, but someday I’d love to re-read and write something about this book. I’ll be sure to get a copy of your book! Thanks again,
    Matthew LaPine

  3. That’s great, Matthew! You know, a few years ago, I attended a conference on The Pickwick Papers in California, and there was a competition to write verse in the style of the Ode to an Expiring Frog. It was very funny indeed.

    Don’t forget to check out my daily facebook posts on Pickwick.

    Good luck with the PhD.

    Best wishes


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