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278 Popess Joan (La papessa Ggiuvanna)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale


There wunce was a sheila alrite. First uv all
She chucked ía dress ní job ní got hired as a soljar;
She got ordained as a priest, then prelate ní sumwot olda,
Was appoiníed bishop, níthen at last a cardínal.

An when the male Pope got real crook ní there
An then jus carked it, from poison sum folks say,
She was elected Pope an was carried away
Ta St. Johnís, on hanísít wove a papal chair.

But here the plot wení askew, an ended in a joke:
íCos abrupchuredly, she had these labour pains,
An rite in that chair pooped out a liddle bloke.

From that day on, a chair was made so they cíd assess,
By touchen the parts where our human urges drain,
Whether the new Pondiff's a Pope, or a Popess.

5/4/2000
The sonnet is translated into "Strine", the dialect spoken in Australia down to the 1960s.

 


278 Popess Joan (Orthographically normalized version)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale


There once was a sheila alright. First of all,
She chucked her dress and job and got hired as a soldier;
She got ordained as a priest, then a prelate and, somewhat older,
Was appointed bishop, and then at last a cardinal.

And when the male Pope got real crook and, there
And then, just carked it, from poison some folks say,
She was elected Pope and was carried away
To St. Johnís, on hands that wove her a papal chair.

But here the plot went askew, and ended in a joke:
Cos abrupchuredly, she had these labour pains,
And plum in that chair pooped out a little bloke.

From that day on, a chair was made so they coud assess,
By touchen the parts where our human urges drain,
Whether the new Pontiff's a Pope, or a Popess.

5/4/2000