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O.T. Favorite Poem

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  • O.T. Favorite Poem

    I had this poem on my toolbox for years at work, still read it occasionally and it always makes me chuckle because of the truth behind it.

    The Designer
    The designer sat at his drafting board
    A wealth of knowledge in his head was stored
    Like "What can be done on a radial drill
    Or a turret lathe or a vertical mill?"
    But above all things a knack he had
    Of driving gentle machinists mad.
    So he mused as he thoughtfully scratched his bean
    "Just how can I make this thing hard to machine?"
    If I make this perfect body straight
    The job had ought to come out first rate
    But would be so easy to turn and bore
    That it would never make a machinist sore
    So I'll put a compound taper there
    And a couple of angles to make them swear
    And brass would work for this little gear
    But its too damned easy to work I fear
    So just to make the machinist squeal
    I'll make him mill it from tungsten steel
    And I'll put these holes that hold the cap
    Down underneath where they can't be tapped
    Now if they can make this it'll just be luck
    Cause it can't be held by dog or chuck
    And it can't be planed and it cant be ground
    So I feel my design is unusually sound.
    And he shouted in glee, "Success at last!
    This goddam thing can't even be cast.',​​​​​​
    Beaver County Alberta Canada

  • #2
    Without a doubt, every designer should have to spend time as a machinist first. I've been both and one will improve the other.



    • #3
      You gonna eat that?
      you gonna eat that?
      you gonna eat that?

      I’ll eat that!

      from “unleashed: poems by writers dogs”


      • #4
        My shop, my tools. My stuff, my rules!


        • #5
          The author of the poem would never have bothered in todays world of many types of 3D printing.


          • #6
            Surprise topic of the, for me, no contest, Steven's Cremation of Sam McGee..... A fav since I was little.

            Then there's the lauded classic...Those who write on bathroom walls, should roll their.....
            Last edited by Mcgyver; 08-31-2020, 11:23 AM.
            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


            • #7
              No matter how down you are, Dorothy Parker had a poem to cheer you...

              Razors pain you;
              Rivers are damp;
              Acids stain you;
              And drugs cause cramp.
              Guns aren’t lawful;
              Nooses give;
              Gas smells awful;
              You might as well live.
              Regards, Marv

              Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things

              Location: LA, CA, USA


              • #8
                or the shortest poem on record by e.e.cummings : Fleas, "Adam had 'em...


                • #9
                  This one has followed me round for the best part of fifty years, and still gives me a smile when I read it.


                  • #10
                    don marquis, the lives and times of archy and mehitabel.


                    • #11
                      Not a favorite poem, but one that has stuck in my mind all these years-

                      found on an outhouse wall- 'here I sit and shi- and caper, here I sit and find no paper. The truck is leaving, I cannot linger- piss on the paper, I'll use my finger.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                      • #12
                        Well if we're going to share such indelicate literature, here's the one that has stuck with me since I first saw it, circa 1960:
                        Pity the bastard whose poetic wit
                        is only inspired by the smell of ....
                        (I can't bring myself to complete the line )
                        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                        • #13
                          I guess my tastes in poetry are a bit pedestrian:

                          Under a spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands
                          (you know the rest ...)

                          ================================================== =======

                          After the American Civil War, my g-grandmother (from Virginia) visited her northern kin in Massachusetts, including her cousin who had been a student of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's at Harvard. (*) The cousin introduced her to HWL, who signed her autograph book and included the final stanza from "Day is Done":

                          "And the night shall be filled with music,
                          And the cares, that infest the day,
                          Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
                          And as silently steal away."

                          Her autograph book is a prized possession of mine.

                          * Longfellow was a professor of modern languages at Harvard, and the cousin in question studied under him.
                          Last edited by tlfamm; 09-16-2020, 03:11 PM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jmm03 View Post
                            or the shortest poem on record by e.e.cummings : Fleas, "Adam had 'em...
                            Forgive the pedantry, but according to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations,

                            Had 'em"

                            is an anonymous poem called On the Antiquity of Microbes, though Wikipedia claims it was written by one Strickland Gillilan.

                            Whatever, it can't be blamed on e.e.cummings—though some 2,900 other poems evidently can, which is a pretty impressive number.

                            I love Tennyson's Ulysses, especially
                            the ending, as the aging king urges his old comrades-in-arms to sail into the sunset with him:

                            Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
                            We are not now that strength which in old days
                            Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
                            One equal temper of heroic hearts,
                            Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
                            To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

                            What a stirring last line! Best read aloud.


                            • #15
                              Hi Mike, thanks for correcting my incorrectness... I have had that poem running around in my head for who knows how long and when i first read it back in the stone age it was attributed to Mr. Cummings. (and I did read the Tennyson aloud)