Infantile
(in the style of the kids TV show "Make a Wish")
by Ronald Bruce Meyer
30 September 2001

If you release your inner child,
You might be shy and you might be wild.
You might look cherubic, and act juvenile
But you'll characterize what we call infantile.
It isn't all bad -- youth is often good,
Young faces, and bodies, rule Hollywood.
In sports you can be infantile and still play
Games made for adults, and make major pay.
But in math and the arts you'll find infantile stars,
Shining over their elders, getting carded in bars.

Such infantile lights as Sir Bill Hamilton
Mastered 13 languages while we stuttered just one.
Lev Landau was advanced for a boy of fourteen,
When he wowed Baku U and the mathematics dean.
Alex Pope, at seventeen, had become London's wonder,
At eighteen Tom Chatterton took his life and went under.
In Nicaragua, DarŪo, at twenty-one, transformed verse --
To be great at that age might not be a curse!
But geniuses infantile in one art truly reign,
For gifts of great music often grace a young brain.

If you make a wish... it might come true.
It's all up to you. It's all up to you.

Pianists like Hofmann and Gould, Mrs. Beach,
Saint-SaŽns, Tilson Thomas, and Busoni did reach
The standards that other child prodigies set.
It's not infantile -- unless they see your pants wet!
You could be Perlman or Heifetz or Yehudi Menuhin,
Paganini, Yo Yo Ma, or Casals and you'd win
Pretty much every prize that your elders would covet.
You might look infantile, but your parents would love it!
You could wow other prodigies with the way that you play,
As did Beethoven with Mozart, and blew him away!
It's not bad to be infantile with some musical talents,
Like Moscheles, Chopin, or Mendelssohn's balance

Of youth and great skill, with a crowd-pleasing appeal.
You'd think infantile brilliance is something surreal.
But if music seems easy, try chess, if you will:
Where Fischer and Spassky were quite young in their skill.
Or try painting, where Sir Edwin Henry Landseer's,
And Lucas van Leyden's, skills enraged older peers.
At twenty-two Billy the Kid was folklore;
Joan of Arc at 19 -- and she started a war!
Louis Braille, at eighteen, wrote the book for the blind;
Billiard player Mosconi was not far behind.
So if you think that infantile's just immature,
I'm here to tell you it can be much more!

So... make a wish... it might come true.
It's all up to you. It's all up to you.

--Uptight, Late-Night, Stage Fright Ronald, The Duke of Doggerel



Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance doggerelist.

NB: Lucas van "Leyden's" name is pronounced [LY-duhnz]