Lewis Carroll addresses the shade of Mr. W.S.
“You are old—nay, deceased!—Mr. William,” he said,
“And four hundred winters have passed,
Yet although you’re long dead, you are still widely read—
Do you think such distinction can last?”
“In my youth,” said the Bard, “I would tipple and lust,
Giving never a thought to old age,
But I came, as I must, to the merest of dust,
So I hope to survive on the page.”
“You are dead, Mr. William, yet strangely naïve,
For you still have a bee in your bonnet:
Do you really believe you can somehow achieve
Immortality thanks to a sonnet?”
“Pray allow me, good Sir,” said the Bard, “to remark
That your question doth cause me to chortle.
Let us fear not the dark; with my verse and your Snark,
We are both of us truly immortal.”
was born in 1943, a mere 22 months before Hitler committed suicide, although no causal connection between the two events has ever been established. Although immutably English, he has lived in Paris since 1982. He started entering humorous competitions in 1967, but took a 35-year break, finally re-emerging in 2011 as a kind of Rip Van Winkle of the literary competition world. He also drinks malt whisky and writes music, which may explain his fondness for Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony. He is the author of The Ayterzedd: A Bestiary of (mostly) Alien Beings
and An Answer from the Past, being the story of Rasselas and Figaro
. Not having been to the hairdresser in over a year due to Covid-19, he is currently wearing his hair in “locks down” mode.