Poem i met a man on the stairs
Inspired by reports of a ghost of a man roaming the stairs of a haunted house in Antigonish , Nova Scotia , Canada ,  the poem was originally part of a play called The Psyco-ed which Mearns had written for an English class at Harvard University about Mearns' "Antigonish" has been used numerous times in popular culture, often with slight variations in the lines. Versions are frequently featured in modern entertainment. A version printed in Mad magazine around the time of the Church Committee hearings read:. Allegedly it was composed by a minister in the Labour government.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: "Antigonish" Poem Reading
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Meet Me In The Stairwell - A 9/11 Memorial TributeContent:
Poetically Speaking about Antigonish [I met a man who wasn’t there] by Hughes Mearns
I need to write an explanation of what this poem means When I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today, I wish that he would go away. Mearns wrote a handful of similar ditties, and inspired many parodies and imitations. As I was sitting in my chair, I knew the bottom wasn't there, Nor legs nor back, but I just sat, Ignoring little things like that.
Do they 'mean' anything? Other than wordplay, I would doubt it. Sort of like Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess. I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one; But I can tell you, anyhow, I'd rather see than be one.
Catchy, but nothing deep involved. Redmoon, it's just a nonsense poem intended to make the reader think about the words. Go here, for a previous discussion: [ tinyurl. Hugh and Les may be right, it probably means nothing. On the other hand, if this is an assignment, it may mean something to your teacher. Perhaps it's a ghost story of sorts and Mr.
Mearns was being haunted. Well, it may also help to know that the poem was originally titled "Antigonish". There was a village in Nova Scotia called Antigona or perhaps Antigonia.
The daily newspapers at that time were carrying repeated stories of a haunted house in that town. Perhaps predictiably, the ghost was always missing when the reporters arrived. Gelett Burgess insisted that Antigonish was a new nonsense form, and went on to say that the 'man who wasn't there' is a terrifying experience for women whose mate does not appear but is so permanently in their thoughts as they ascend the stair that it would be natural for them to cry out, "I wish to God he'd stay away!
He further claimed it was a quatrain of female frustration. Interesting information Hugh, but I infer you meant to refer to Mearns, not Burgess, in the second para of your last post. In the verse as quoted by Redmoon, I'm pretty sure the 4th line is incorrect. The words in it are scarcely weighty enough to match the strong 4-beat of the other three. Verses like this mutate on the Internet through misquotation, so the Internet is an unreliable source, but through a quick search there I find the following other versions of the 4th line and there are probably more : I wish, I wish he'd stay away.
I wish that man would go away. Oh how I wish he'd go away. Does anyone know which is the correct version? As for meaning, you can give this memorable, paradoxical piece of nonsense whatever plausible one fits for you, Redmoon.
For example, besides the possibilities alread offered, the 'man who wasn't there' might be a CIA or MI5 agent whom you know is there but whose existence isn't officially acknowledged; or a man whom you surprise in some location where he isn't meant to be and who says to you in conspiratorial tone "You haven't seen me"; or someone whose influence remains overpowering even though he has long gone; or just a metaphor for something missing with which you have become obsessively preoccupied cf.
I infer you meant to refer to Mearns, not Burgess I mean to say there that the 'terrifying experience' was Gelett's interpretation of the Mearns quatrain. That may be what the instructor was driving at?
We have had previous discussions of the last line. I have also seen, Oh God, I wish he'd stay away. I personally believe the correct version was, I wish, I wish he'd stay away italics on the 2nd wish [ tinyurl. I went back to my copy of What Cheer, and I see that you are correct, Ianb.
My memory was faulty. The 'terrifying experience' quote really was by Mearns, not by Burgess, so I infer we will have to accept this as the correct interpretation as to the ditty's meaning. I see also in the McCord text that the quatrain was originally an untitled verse in a play named The Psyco-ed that Mearns wrote for an English course at Harvard, regarding the year I infer there was likely a female speaker who said the lines, but cannot be sure.
This little popem has always nibbled at my head. It is surely straightforward and without depth, let us not make more of it than it is but it is the feeling that the reader gets after which is of note here. Fruitless to expand on the text itself but the feeling that remains with me is indeed deep, ominous and even slightly melancholic.
I wish, I wish he'd stay away. That's the version that was in the book I owned when I was quite young -- a long time ago. In search of divine inspiration to help you along? When I was going up the stair. Posted by: redmoon Re: When I was going up the stair. Posted by: Hugh Clary Posted by: lg Posted by: J. Posted by: IanB Posted by: breadmanpaul Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at emule.
THE MOST FAMOUS GHOST POEM
Just think about it. Who is he? What is he? Why is he in your house? What does he want there?
They seek him here, they seek him there; those Brownites seek him everywhere. Is he in cabinet or is he in hell, that damned scribbler of doggerel? That, at any rate, is the question gripping the Westminster village, where the hunt is afoot for an anonymous poet, believed to be a senior minister, who has penned some decidedly off-message verse about Gordon Brown. The poem has also stirred up the ever-festering feud between the Blairites and supporters of the prime minister, and even led to the business secretary, John Hutton, being accused in the Commons of harbouring a secret literary bent.
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Mearns is remembered now as the author of the poem " Antigonish " or "The Little Man Who Wasn't There" , but his ideas, about encouraging the natural creativity of children, particularly those age 3 through 8, were novel at the time. It has been written about him that, "He typed notes of their conversations; he learned how to make them forget there was an adult around; never asked them questions and never showed surprise no matter what they did or said. Mearns wrote two influential books: Creative Youth , and Creative Power Essayist Gabriel Gudding credits those books with "[lighting] a fuse" under the teaching of creative writing , influencing a generation of scholars. Mearns is credited with the well-known rhyme, composed in as a song for a play he had written, called The Psyco-ed  The play was performed in and the poem was first published as "Antigonish" in Mearns also wrote many parodies of this poem, entitled, Later Antigonishes , such as "Alibi":. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. William Hughes Mearns.
This year I am doing a stripped down version of Poetically Speaking. Check back every Friday in April to chat about poems with me. Antigonish by Hughes Mearns is the kind of poem that I feel like everyone knows. Mearns wrote this poem in as part of a play.
Original Version Unavailable If anyone can provide a copy of the original song, please email me. If anyone can provide a copy of the original song, please email me. Original Version Unavailable English If anyone can provide a copy of the original song, please email me. Whoever the children are in your life - your kids, your grandkids, your students, even yourself in your heart - Kid Songs Around The World is a wonderful way to help them experience other languages and cultures.
Antigonish / Hughes Mearns
Sightings looks for meaning in the abyss of chaos that currently challenges American, and global, culture. Some readers may welcome an audio backup on YouTube , which makes available an old Glenn Miller recording, where I first heard and heard of it see Resources. So far as Google and I can tell, the poem has always invited as many exegeses as it has had readers or listeners. Try this.
Sign In. Edit Identity Showing all 24 items. It is really a poem titled 'Antigonish' by William Hughes Mearns. This poem was also turned into a popular song, giving it widespread attention. Some location shooting occurred in Lancaster and other places in Los Angeles County.
Hughes Mearns Poem