Kim Beattie’s ‘Slink, the Rat’…

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Slink, the Rat: A Nursery Rhyme for War Babies by Kim Beattie.
The Star Weekly (Toronto).
December 12th, 1925.

Slink, the Rat: A Nursery Rhyme for War Babies by Kim Beattie.  The Star Weekly (Toronto), December 12th, 1925.

Click for much larger resolution (and then click again).

Kim Beattie’s archive is housed in the 48th Highlanders’ Museum in Toronto; the highlight of the collection (for me anyway) is an absolutely wonderful scrapbook (50-60 pages) containing newspaper & periodical clippings of Beattie’s poetry that was published from the mid-twenties until the early-thirties.  Many of the poems were subsequently published in Beattie’s one and only collection And You! (1929).

When you’re the regimental historian, I suppose the inclination to save material for posterity is strong; Kim Beattie took the time to cut out, paste and label each entry, which, speaking frankly, is a researcher’s dream.

“Slink, the Rat: A Nursery Rhyme for War Babies” is one of those delightfully acerbic war poems, and I like it all the more for having seen it in its original context with the banner illustration.  I didn’t measure it, but the newspaper clipping is about the size of a tabloid newspaper page.  I’ve cleaned up the photo a little (it was badly yellowed).

“Slink the Rat” appears on pages 60-62 of And You!  Toronto: MacMillan, 1929, but there were several changes made, some merely stylistic, but others saw the removal of entire stanzas and the compression of others.  That’s a shame, because it’s funnier in the original above.

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