Ah – Er – Um

Members and guests had a real treat during Table Topics at Maidenhead Speakers on Monday 12th April.  We’d already had five excellent speakers on the timely topic of Spring, some people had already filled out their voting slips, when the TM suggested we do ‘a couple more..’.

Step forward Norman Rhodes, DTM, to take on the subject “Poems or Songs of Spring”.

He opened quite, well,  conventionally, with a few lines from a well know nursery rhyme: “Spring is sprung..de grasse is riz…”. Then he paused, shuffled his papers,  thought for a bit longer and decided on impulse (well we assumed it was!) to retrieve something from his seat. He returned to the lectern and announced he had an original poem to read to us.

“I was on a coach with a party travelling up to Loughborough for a guided tour of the John Taylor Bell Foundry the day following my speech evaluations and the words of the 1st three verses just fell into place.   The last verse took a little longer to get right”.

We were blown away. We never see the results of the voting of course, but I’m pretty sure Norman won Best Table Topics by miles.

Some people asked for a copy, so here is it is in full:

Ah  –  Er  –  Um

by Norman Rhodes, DTM

Those dreaded words kept creeping in.
At first I didn’t even know!
But as my count was always high

I realised it must be so.

After a while I found I heard
Those dreaded words when ‘ere I spake,
Which soon with careful concentration
I managed to eradicate.

My progress made was clear to me
When my evaluator said one night
Nothing about my Um’s or Er’s:

Just said I had a ‘pauses’ blight.

Then in a flash it came to me,
The reason why I had such pauses:
In taking out those Um’s and Er’s
Their unfilled gaps were now the causes!


Fantastic! Well done Norman and we look forward to the next verses.

Maybe this should be required reading by the Grammarian at the start of every meeting…

%d bloggers like this: