"The Chaos" is a poem written by Dutch writer, traveler and teacher Gerard Nolst Trenite (1870-1946), a.k.a Charivarius.
It is an excellent account of how crazy English language is. The original poem is 800 lines long! If I were asked to read those 800 lines or to hang myself to a ceiling fan, I might prefer the second option! lol! Its torturous, to say the least. Our courts should consider this poem as an alternative to death sentence.
Ahem, here's a snippet for you, go twist your brains!
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation's OK When you correctly say croquet,
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late.
We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover;
Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion.
Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
It's a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far;
Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger,
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label.
Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won't it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits?
Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
More information about the poem: Wikipedia
English Spelling Society: The Classic Concordance of Cacographic Chaos