English Spelling

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
   Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
   Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
   Just compare heart, hear and heard,
   Dies and diet, lord and word.

And so it goes for 274 lines. Written by a Dutch scholar and traveler in about 1920.

There is also a 147-line version, which you can listen to being read right here, and I should credit Propel Steps for the delight it brought me. A great material to teach spelling vs. pronounciation, and well, since we’re talking about spelling, here’s another amusing poem. “Sauce unknown”!