"Emblem poem" and OED2 -- definition and dates?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 6 02:53:29 UTC 2006

Isn't this, from _Alice In Wonderland_, an example of an emblem poem?

'The Mouse's Tale'

Fury said to a mouse,
     That he met in the
            house, 'Let us
               both go to law:
                I will prosecute
              you.-- Come, I'll
             take no denial;
           We must have
         a trial: For
       really this
     morning I've
   nothing to do.'
       Said the mouse
             to the cur,
               'Such a trial,
                  dear Sir, With
                      no jury or
                    judge, would
                   be wasting
               our breath.'
            'I'll be
       judge, I'll
     be jury,'
   Said cunning
 old Fury:
    'I'll try
      the whole
        cause, and

	-- Lewis Carroll


On 2/5/06, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "Emblem poem" and OED2 -- definition and dates?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From another list:
> "emblem poem - A type of shaped poem which used the words to create a
> picture related to the words in the poem or to extend or reinforce
> its meaning. The term was in use in the 17th Century. (See also
> pattern poetry, shaped poems, concrete poetry)"
> <http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/lexicon/E.htm>
> http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/lexicon/E.htm
> OED2 has emblem poem 1963-, and emblem book 1870-.  It also does not
> have the above meaning, but only:
> 6. attrib. emblem book, a book containing drawings with accompanying
> interpretations of their allegorical meaning; so emblem poem, writer, etc.
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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