22 NOVEMBER 1997, Page 74




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IN COMPETITION NO. 2009 you were invited to make an anagram of any one line of a well-known poet.

In 1980, when I last set a similar compe- tition, I remember relishing N.E. Soret's prizewinning version of 'Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May: Ugh! Weather dismal. No fun had by kids or dogs. This week's entries unfortunately coincid- ed with an abscess on my tooth, which pre- vented me from checking every anagram, so if any prizewinner is at fault, please do not hesitate unsportingly to let me know, and the money will, I'm sure, be sportingly returned. I'm sorry that I can't give a prize to James Tebbutt, who anagrammatised the two opening lines of `Kubla Khan' as A Milton Keynes curate, able Duke and I had sex up a ladder.

The prizewinners, printed below, get £6 per item (I wish it could be more) and the bonus bottle of Isle of Jura Single Malt Scotch whisky goes to David Lye.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall (Frost)

The old Vermont sage is not all that wise, eh?

(David Lye) He did not wear his scarlet coat (Wilde) The erotic Oscar wanted his lad (Andrew Brison) This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper (Eliot) `That shit, Tony Blair, what's 'e want?' whined posh Wedgie B. 'Rum!' (Peter Dron) Death is not different whined at than withstood (Larkin) Deft Thanatos finds when and where to hit, idiot!

(Ray Kelley) So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed (Milton) Be his dinner a hot toasted snack? Yes!

(Bill Greenwell) Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn (Tennyson) Art of Alfred's mind mingles flash and gloom (Godfrey Bullard) I shall but love thee better after death (Elizabeth BroWning) Believe that, Robert! heedful at the last (David Tompsett) Gather ye rosebuds while ye may (Herrick)

0 yes, be sure, we rightly made hay (David Barton)

Was chewing little bits of string (Balm) Gents, fast-writing wit is H. Belloc (Paul Wigmore) When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd (Whit- man) Abraham Lincoln's died: whole skny told (Gordon Gwilliams) Behold her, single in the field (Wordsworth)

0 Bill! He finds here he tingled (George Rees)

I am a woman lying on a leaf (Larkin)

A flea on a Wyoming animal (Susan Therkelsen)

Quidquid est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis (Virgil) An added quid to aid fee to question ministers (Lavender Hastie) What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? (Owen) Wilfred Owen has highest class as battle poet (Frank McDonald) The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies (Carroll) Ah, heed the PM's smile! Tony Blair's false teeth

kill (David Edelsten)

Yes, I remember Adlestrop (Edward Thomas)

Yet bard's memories repel (N.E. Soret)

For fools rush in where angels fear to tread (Pope) Hare ran off and lost — i.e. slower goes further (W.J. Webster) This was Mr Bleaney's room. He stayed (Larkin) Shy woman-hater? Yes, t' miserable sod!

(Andrew Gibbons) There were his young barbarians all at play (Byron) Blair New Labour — as a party, are they English?

(Arthur Hall) When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat, which doesn't go and doesn't suit me (Jenny Joseph) Mother, what ails proud woman when she pleads to thrill eating sandwich in a meadow nude?

(John Barker) Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (Keats) Sadness follows life's first autumn omen (Philip Dacre) Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet (Yeats) Why needed I sell my tiny, odd, best-loved ana-

gram? (Ralph Rochester)

I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged pile! (Wordsworth) Were you groping Slough bitch? Then adieu!

(Philip Irwin) Breathes there the man, with soul so dead (Scott) Head hunter shot beaters with some lead (Robert B. Myles)