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From "Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames"

Luis d'Antin van Rooten

"Un Petit
d'Un Petit"

  van Rooten

d'Antin's verse:

Un petit d'un petit1
S'étonne aux Halles2
Un petit d'un petit
Ah! degrés te fallent3
Indolent qui ne sort cesse4
Indolent qui ne se mène5
Qu'importe un petit d'un petit
Tout Gai de Reguennes.6
"strangely familiar" homophone:

L. d'A. van Rooten's illuminating notes:

1.  The inevitable result of a child marriage.
2.  The subject of this epigrammatic poem is obviously from the provinces, since a native Parisian would take this famous old market for granted.
3.  Since this personage bears no titles, we are led to believe that the poet writes of one of those unfortunate idiot-children that in olden days existed as a living skeleton in their family's closet. I am inclined to believe, however, that this is a fine piece of misdirection and that the poet is actually writing of some famous political prisoner, or the illegitimate offspring of some noble house. The Man in the Iron Mask, perhaps?
4, 5.  Another misdirection. Obviously it was not laziness that prevented this person's going out and taking himself places.
6.  He was obviously prevented from fulfilling his destiny, since he is compared to Gai de Reguennes. This was a young squire (to one of his uncles, a Gaillard of Normandy) who died at the tender age of twelve of a surfeit of Saracen arrows before the walls of Acre in 1191.

[Ed. note:
From the East Anglia Tourist Board in England: "Humpty Dumpty was a powerful cannon during the English Civil War (1642-49). It was mounted on top of the St Mary's at the Wall Church in Colchester defending the city against siege in the summer of 1648. (Although Colchester was a Parliamentarian stronghold, it had been captured by the Royalists and they held it for 11 weeks.) The church tower was hit by the enemy and the top of the tower was blown off, sending "Humpty" tumbling to the ground. Naturally the King's men* tried to mend him but in vain."

* NB: The "King's men" would have been infantry troops, and the "King's horses" the cavalry troops.]

Check out some more "mots":

No.1: "Un petit d'Un Petit"
No.6: Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?
No.7: Jacques s'apprête
No.8: Pis-terre, pis-terre
No.10: Lit-elle messe, moffette
No.13: L'île déjà accornée
No.16: Reine, reine
No.17: Pas de caïque

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POETS Main Page INDEX of Poets INDEX of Titles & First Lines "Mots d'Heures"