When first I encountered x-bar—
In a pub, on my fourth or fifth jar—
I thought ‘This won’t last long’
Wrong! But that pub’s long gone:
X-bar lasts, but that pub’s an ex-bar.
The phrase “double dactyl”
Or metrical structure,
Suited for jokes?
To My American Colleagues
Your day may have just now begun
Mine, here, is halfway through its run;
But amongst other capers
I’ve written five papers
’N’ taught syntax to post-docs for fun.
Understanding our linguistic inheritance
Or thinking through work that’s ahead of us
Requires an admission
Of the need for recognition
Of professors now dead or emeritus.
—Col. O. Nihilist
Mentoring the next generation.
But somehow now
in my nineteenth hour of final papers
phrases that I washed in red ink just a few hours ago
Tomorrow collegial indignation
will lead to quotation
numbness banished for another term.
How many are left?