You gave us that poem—
“There is no frigate like a book,”
and some of the boys laughed,
cackling like the crows
that Terry always writes about.
“Frigate!” they cried.
“Frigate! Frigate! Frigate!”
And you passed out the dictionaries
and made us read about a frigate
and see the little picture
And so they settled down
(the boys, that is),
and then you asked,
“So how is a book like a frigate?”
“Old-fashioned,” said James Kuhl, III,
the only mildly funny things he’s ever said,
And his friends laughed,
and his enemies laughed, too,
knowing the best way to kill a king
is to be his friend.
But I know exactly how
a book is like a frigate—
better than a frigate is what she actually said
and what she meant,
Emily Dickinson, I mean,
who wrote that line.
But if you think
that I am going to raise my hand
and tell you what I really think,
or anything else, for that matter—
you have got a lot to learn
about books and boats …