Tuesday Poem – A Philosopher by Sam Walter Foss

  Zack Bumstead useter flosserfize
About the ocean an’ the skies;
An’ gab an’ gas f’um morn till noon
About the other side the moon;
An’ ’bout the natur of the place
Ten miles beyend the end of space.
An’ if his wife she’d ask the crank
Ef he wouldn’t kinder try to yank
Hisself out-doors an’ git some wood
To make her kitchen fire good,
So she c’d bake her beans an’ pies,
He’d say, “I’ve gotter flosserfize.”

An’ then he’d set an’ flosserfize
About the natur an’ the size
Of angels’ wings, an’ think, and gawp,
An’ wonder how they make ’em flop.
He’d calkerlate how long a skid
‘Twould take to move the sun, he did;
An’ if the skid was strong an’ prime,
It couldn’t be moved to supper-time.
An’ w’en his wife ‘d ask the lout
Ef he wouldn’t kinder waltz about
An’ take a rag an’ shoo the flies,
He’d say, “I’ve gotter flosserfize.”

An’ then he’d set an’ flosserfize
‘Bout schemes for fencing in the skies,
Then lettin’ out the lots to rent,
So’s he could make an honest cent.
An’ if he’d find it pooty tough
To borry cash fer fencin’-stuff;
An’ if ’twere best to take his wealth
An’ go to Europe for his health,
Or save his cash till he’d enough
To buy some more of fencin’-stuff;
Then, ef his wife she’d ask the gump
Ef he wouldn’t kinder try to hump
Hisself to t’other side the door,
So she c’d come an’ sweep the floor,
He’d look at her with mournful eyes,
An’ say, “I’ve gotter flosserfize.”

An’ so he’d set an’ flosserfize
‘Bout what it wuz held up the skies,
An’ how God made this earthly ball
Jest simply out er nawthin’ ‘tall,
An’ ’bout the natur, shape, an’ form
Of nawthin’ that he made it from.
Then, ef his wife sh’d ask the freak
Ef he wouldn’t kinder try to sneak
Out to the barn an’ find some aigs,
He’d never move, nor lift his laigs;
He’d never stir, nor try to rise,
But say, “I’ve gotter flosserfize.”

An’ so he’d set an’ flosserfize
About the earth, an’ sea, an’ skies,
An’ scratch his head, an’ ask the cause
Of w’at there wuz before time wuz,
An’ w’at the universe ‘d do
Bimeby w’en time hed all got through;
An’ jest how fur we’d have to climb
Ef we sh’d travel out er time;
An’ ef we’d need, w’en we got there,
To keep our watches in repair.
Then, ef his wife she’d ask the gawk
Ef he wouldn’t kinder try to walk
To where she had the table spread,
An’ kinder git his stomach fed,
He’d leap for that ar kitchen door,
An’ say, “W’y didn’t you speak afore?”
An’ when he’d got his supper et,
He’d set, an’ set, an’ set, an’ set,
An’ fold his arms, an’ shet his eyes,
An’ set, an’ set, an’ flosserfize.

Sam Walter Foss (June 19, 1858 – February 26, 1911) A bio at Poem Hunter describes his poetry as being ‘of the frank and homely common man variety.’

Foss is known today, almost exclusively, for a bit of verse entitled “The House by the Side of the Road,” a very famous poem which you can read here.

Sam Walter FossJ.Dennis Robinson says in his eye opening article here ‘The poem The House by the Side of the Road, ‘urges everyone to stop being cynical and scornful to their neighbors and “be a friend to man.” It is sentimental, honest, proactive and optimistic – essential Foss — but it is far from his best work. I know because I have a degree in English Literature, which is little more than a license to read books. I know, too, because Foss published five volumes of poetry, and I’ve read them all. This guy rocks.’

I would like to have met Sam Foss. He sounds like an optimistic poet with a clear insight.

Enjoy this poem! And if you would like to read more Tuesday Poems please visit the Tuesday Poem site.

 

 

 

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