This was one of the first poems I learned by heart for school, and the cause of a furious stand up row with my English teacher. Not knowing anything about don marquis, and archy's methods of typing and punctuation, she huffed and puffed when I came to the end of reciting this poem.

"It's the 'the human cerebrum archy' not '...the human cerebrum. archy.'" she insisted. "There's no full stop there. No pause. Speak what you read, girl."

"No, no," I said, all smug and self-righteous, "it's written by archy. There's no punctuation. And that's him signing off."

"I thought you said it was written by someone called Marquis."

"It is. But it's typed by a cockroach."

"Well," she snorted, "I think I know more about this than you. Anyway, he's talking about the archy of the human cerebrum, it's one of the terms used to describe the folds and curves of the brain."


"We'll hear less of your cheek, thank you very much. Sit down, and learn a sensible poem next time."

Sadly, next time we got into a fight about the pronunciation of "Adlestrop".