Peter Jeffrey: ‘It makes an ugly sound’

It makes an ugly sound

In Agatha as in Christie
Or Agnetha as in ABBA,
In the subphylum agnatha,
A class of jawless fishes,
e.g. the hagfish.
In the agenbite of inwit,
Eh, Mr Leopold Bloom?
Or Gordon, that other haggard masturbator,
Enrolled with Haze, Dolores
And with nailbiting Agnes:
In the haggis-eating
Secret, black and midnight hags
Of the Scottish play:
The needling stalactite hag
And bednag of Llaregyb:
The ugliest syllable in the English,
Or surely any other language:
It’s mainly that aggressive hard G,
As in agon, dragon, ragged claws,
Mr Jaggers,

Peter Jeffrey




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