From Harvard

“Blurtso skips school”

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What a nice tree, said Blurtso. I sure would like to sit under its leaves. Too bad I have to go to school. On the other hoof… to hell with school. Ooops! Did I really say that?!

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Yes… I really did.

“Blurtso channels Shakespeare”

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What’s the matter? said Alex. I haven’t been sleeping, said Blurtso. Why not? said Alex. I keep thinking of Lizzy. Lizzy? said Alex. Yes, said Blurtso, a donkey I saw on campus. What’s so special about Lizzy? I’m not sure, said Blurtso, there’s just something about her… I think I’d give anything just to brush against her. Really? said Alex. Yes, said Blurtso, and it’s driving me mad. Like in the poem, said Alex. The poem? said Blurtso. Sure, said Alex, the sonnet by Shakespeare: “By day my limbs, by night my mind for thee and myself, no quiet find.” Yes, said Blurtso, that’s it. Shakespeare sure knew donkeys.

“Blurtso fills in the spaces”

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I suppose when you see someone you like, and you don’t know them, you fill in the spaces with what you hope to find. Of course, you can make reasonable assumptions. For example, she was walking when I saw her, so she must enjoy going for long walks. And she was looking around, so she must like to sit and look at things. And of course, everybody likes pumpkin pie, and whipped cream, because everything’s better with whipped cream. I wonder if she likes to watch the ducks? This much is certain… she’s an attentive, pumpkin-pie eating donkey, who loves long walks, probably watches the ducks, and thinks everything is better with whipped cream. She also appeared to be simple, but intelligent, and unhurried and content—I think I detected a bounce in her step—and she was clearly enjoying the grass beneath her hooves. I wonder if she likes music? I wonder if she plays an instrument? Maybe she plays the trombone. If she plays the trombone we could play duets together, and travel the world earning our passage from place to place. I wonder what her favorite music is? It’s probably Für Elise. I wonder if that’s her name? Elise? Or Eliza? Or Liza? Or Lizzy? Yes, Lizzy is less pretentious. Hmm, I wonder what she reads? I wonder if she reads Shakespeare? Maybe she’ll join our barnyard company. Then we could stage “Twelfth Night,” and she’d be Viola and I’d be the Duke, and after many mishaps we would live happily ever after.

“Blurtso and Alex take tea”

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I am mortified, said Blurtso. What? said Alex. Poor Jane, said Blurtso, and poor Mister Bingley. Who? said Alex. I never saw a more promising inclination, said Blurtso, he had grown quite inattentive toward other people, and is not general incivility the very essence of love? What? said Alex. I am mortified, said Blurtso, I am humbled, I am grieved, and hope against hope that Wickam and Lydia will be married. I have been so ungenerous to Mister Darcy, and now we owe the restoration of everything to him. What on earth are you talking about? said Alex. And what’s that book you’re reading? It’s Pride and Prejudice, said Blurtso, by Jane Austen. Oh, said Alex. You are too generous to trifle with me, said Blurtso, if you will take another cup of tea, please, tell me at once. Another cup? said Alex. Why yes, I shall accept your offer, with gratitude and pleasure.

“Blurtso slips into stone”

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Into stone people come and go, slaves of Michelangelo…
Artist carved a brand new beauty, polished it and made it clean,
but now the stones are rough and the artist’s dust
and the statue’s going home, slipping back, slipping into stone.

Into stone people come and go, slaves of Michelangelo…
Mommy has a brand new baby, dress him up and keep him clean,
but the years will reach him, and time will teach him,
tear him down ‘fore he’s full grown, leaving him slipping into stone.

Into stone people come and go, slaves of Michelangelo…
So you think you’re doing fine, think that you have got it made,
but the music’s slowing, you can hear it going,
like a long forgotten poem, like the faces in the foam,
and all the places you’ve ever known, they’re slipping into stone.

Into stone people come and go, slaves of Michelangelo…
You can’t run, you can’t hide, doesn’t matter
if you’re nice or if you’re mean, midnight walking,
all-night talking, there ain’t no stopping going home,
‘cause you and me, we’re slipping, slipping into stone.

Watch Blurtso slip into stone on Youtube

“Blurtso considers Shakespeare”

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My Shakespeare paper is due tomorrow, I’d better get started. I wonder what I should write? I guess it would be too obvious to say that Shakespeare knew a lot, even though he did. He knew more than I know, that’s for sure. I wonder how he learned all the things he knew? I wonder if he went to school? I wonder if he wrote papers? I wonder who students wrote papers about before Shakespeare became Shakespeare? If Shakespeare would have known how famous he was going to become, he could have written a paper about himself. That would be easy. Even I could write a paper about myself. But I don’t think I’m ever going to be famous. I don’t think Harvard is ever going to offer a class called “Introduction to Blurtso 101,” or “Advanced Blurtso 320,” or “Blurtsearean literature and the end of Enlightenment.” At least I hope not, because I don’t want to be famous. If I were famous, I wouldn’t have a moment to myself. People would be bothering me everywhere I went, even in the library, and I’d never be able to get started on my Shakespeare paper, or my Blurtso paper, and I’d really better get started, because it’s due tomorrow.

“Pablo does Pablomeo”

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She brays!
Oh, bray again, bright angel!

Pablómeo, Pablómeo,
wherefore art thou Pablómeo?

Pablómeo sayest thee?
By such a name am I not that what I am…
but wouldst Pablo become Pablómeo…
if such be thine demand…
pale past be gone, faint future damned…
for thee this present present,
that be that I am!

My rose, my sun, my Pablómeo…
my faithful heart that beats,
a burro that’s called a burro,
by another name smells as sweet…