Originally written by Rupert Goodwin, I first read this excellent ode in an issue of The Home Computer Course back in the 1980′s. The C programming language is just as popular today as it was back then, and this poem is just as funny too.
A C Man’s Lament
The problem I find when I’m looking at lines
Of programs all written in C,
Is that the syntax and grammar resemble the stammer
Of a dyslexic demoralized bee.
I’ll bet any man here (I’ll wager a beer),
Can’t guess how to copy a string.
The mess is dramatic, all [
. & _ !
Pointers collected, and thrice indirected,
Collated in structs and compiled,
When traced by debugger can make coders shudder,
And conditionals drive a man wild.
I don’t wish to seem bitchy, but if only old Ritchie
Had been strangled a birth by a Nurse;
And the fate that I’ve planned for all Kernighan’s clan
Is unprintably several times worse.
I find that the pain begins with the main(),
The only way out is to hack it.
The one bit of syntax that keeps my mind intact
Is the very last }
I hope that this ode is clearer that code
I write in that monstrosity.
You might think that Pascal’s a bit of a rascal,
But the ultimate b*d is C.
My program is calling (in structure appalling),
I must finish my poetic plea.
But, let’s all face it, use Forth, LISP or BASIC,
Whatever you do, don’t use C.
Translator’s guide to pronunciation:
[ = open square bracket
. = dot
& = ampersand
_ = underscore
! = pling
} = close curly bracket
* = star