African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Langston Aray, "A Punished Pun" (1907)

Langston Aray, “A Punished Pun” 

A story of the butter 
And a story of the fly.
Would give you comprehension,
If someone would reply.

The fly was on the butter
And the butter on the fly:
If the butter had the wings on it
It couldn't help but fly.

They say the little wooly worm,
Or caterpillar spry—-
That creeps along the trees of shade,
Make every butter-fly.

Now, if he makes the butterfly
He ought to be a fly:
But if he hasn't got the wings,
Where does the butterfly?

On buckwheat cakes, hot biscuits,
On batter cakes, in pies;
This pun is understanding
The fly in butterflies.

Published in Colored American Magazine, June 1907

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