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Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: September 19, 2003 05:54PM

I am sure you all love this kind of stuff, and have probably seen plenty of it. I came across this web site, although the authors were not given.

Climb Every Mountain
'Climb every mountain'
Julie Andrews said.
But if you climb with her up Everest,
you'll surely end up dead.

There is usually a schism,
between me and feminism.

But I agree,
with their cause,
that there would be no more wars,
if they ruled
and men fooled,
with the household chores.

leapt into the dark.
Cause I liked to jump the gun.
I could have kicked my bucket.
But it wasn't any fun.

Suicide is painless.
Surely that's not the case.
The pursuit agreed is aimless.
But I don't want to run this race.

Suicide needs strength.
Of which I am not made.
So I live a little longer.
My weakness keeps me safe.

But why should I be bothered.
To do what is required.
So I'll go and get another.
A hit man has been hired


Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: September 20, 2003 01:02PM

With tragic air the love-lorn heir
Once chased the chaste Louise;
She quickly guessed her guest was there
To please her with his pleas.

Now at her side he kneeling sighed,
His sighs of woeful size:
"Oh, hear me here, for lo, most low
I rise before your eyes.

"This soul is sole thine own, Louise --
'Twill never wean, I ween,
The love that I for aye shall feel,
Though mean may be its mien!"

"You know I cannot tell you no,"
The maid made answer true;
"I love you aught, as sure I ought --
To you 'tis due I do!"

"Since you are won, O fairest one,
The marriage rite is right --
The chapel aisle I'll lead you up
This night!" exclaimed the knight.
-- Anon.

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: joseph torelli (
Date: September 20, 2003 01:44PM

In the garden there strayed
A beautiful maid
As fair as the flowers of morn;
The first hour of her life
She was made a man's wife,
And was buried before she was born.



A married man who begs his friend,
A bachelor, to wed and end
His lonesome, sorry state,
Is like a bather in the sea,
Goode-pimpled, blue from neck to knee,
Who cries, "The water's great!"

Richard Armour

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: September 22, 2003 01:19PM

Fish gotta swim
and bears gotta climb,
I gotta love
one man at a time...

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: September 23, 2003 03:12PM

One Perfect Rose
by Dorothy Parker

A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet --
One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;
“My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.”
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 06, 2003 12:12PM

Poem: "Nostalgia," by Billy Collins, from Sailing Alone Around the Room (Random House).

Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called "Find the Cow."
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent, a badly broken code.

The 1790s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: October 06, 2003 12:57PM

Poem: "Nostalgia," by Billy Collins ...

In what way is it a poem?

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: October 06, 2003 01:20PM

The usual way, Hugh - somebody called it a poem and nobody gainsaid him/her.

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: October 06, 2003 01:42PM

Here's Cole Porter's take on the subject of propriety:

Times have changed
And we've often rewound the clock
Since the Puritans got a shock
When they landed on Plymouth Rock.
If today
Any shock they should try to stem
'Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock,
Plymouth Rock would land on them.

In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking.
But now, God knows,
Anything goes.
Good authors too who once knew better words
Now only use four-letter words
Writing prose.
Anything goes.
If driving fast cars you like,
If low bars you like,
If old hymns you like,
If bare limbs you like,
If Mae West you like,
Or me undressed you like,
Why, nobody will oppose.
When ev'ry night the set that's smart is in-
Truding in nudist parties in
Anything goes.

When Missus Ned McLean (God bless her)
Can get Russian reds to "yes" her,
Then I suppose
Anything goes.
When Rockefeller still can hoard en-
Ough money to let Max Gordon
Produce his shows,
Anything goes.
The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today,
And black's white today,
And day's night today,
And that gent today
You gave a cent today
Once had several chateaux.
When folks who still can ride in jitneys
Find out Vanderbilts and Whitneys
Lack baby clo'es,
Anything goes.

If Sam Goldwyn can with great conviction
Instruct Anna Sten in diction,
Then Anna shows
Anything goes.
When you hear that Lady Mendl standing up
Now turns a handspring landing up-
On her toes,
Anything goes.
Just think of those shocks you've got
And those knocks you've got
And those blues you've got
From that news you've got
And those pains you've got
(If any brains you've got)
From those little radios.
So Missus R., with all her trimmin's,
Can broadcast a bed from Simmons
'Cause Franklin knows
Anything goes.

This was topical back in the 40's, but I'm curious about the Anna Sten reference. Hugh, anyone, who was Anna Sten?


Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: October 06, 2003 03:15PM

Anna Sten


Among the many "new Greta Garbos' " of the '30s, Russian-born actress Anna Sten was the most famous -- or rather, most notorious. Anna's father was a Russian ballet master who died when she was twelve; Anna herself worked as a waitress until she was discovered at age 15 while acting in an amateur play in Kiev. Her discoverer was the influential Russian stage director/instructor Konstantin Stanislavsky, who arranged for her to get an audition at the Moscow Film Academy. She acted in plays and films in Russia, then travelled to Germany to appear in films co-produced by German and Russian studios (this sort of "international" production was common in the years prior to World War II). Making a smooth transition to talking pictures, Anna appeared in such German films as Trapeze (1931) and The Brothers Karamazov (1931) until she came to the attention of American movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn. Goldwyn was looking for a foreign-born actress that he could build up as the rival of (and possible successor to) Garbo. The producer did not plunge into this endeavor half-heartedly; for two years after bringing Ms. Sten to America, Goldwyn had his new star tutored in English and taught Hollywood screen acting methods. He poured a great deal of time and money into Sten's first US film, Nana, a somewhat homogenized version of Emile Zola's scandalous 19th century novel. But Nana did not click with the box office -- nor did her two subsequent Goldwyn films, We Live Again (1934) and The Wedding Night (1935). Reluctantly, Goldwyn dissolved his contract with his "new Garbo." Speculation in recent years that Sten's failure to connect with American movie fans was due to a lack of talent is incorrect: Anna Sten could act quite well, but audiences were resistant to (a) her Hollywood-fabricated "exotic" image and (b) Goldwyn's overenthusiastic publicity campaign. Sten continued making films in the US and England, but none of them were remarkable, and few of them - notably a late-'50s "juvenile delinquent" epic produced at cellar-dwelling American International Pictures - were downright horrible. Happily, Sten did not have to rely on acting to support her comfortable lifestyle; she was married to film producer Eugene Frenke, who flourished in Hollywood after following his wife stateside in 1932. Most of Anna Sten's latter-day film appearances were, in fact, favors to her husband: She had an uncredited bit in the Frenke-produced Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957), and a full lead in her final film (also produced by Frenke), The Nun and the Sergeant (1962). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: October 06, 2003 03:21PM

Thanks Pam, here are some pictures of Anna.

[] />


Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: October 06, 2003 06:49PM

Yes, thanks, Pam. Her name was unknown to me as well. Looks like she was fairly well known in her day:


Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 07, 2003 11:22AM

One reason I like opera

In movies, you can tell the heroine
because she is blonder and thinner
than her sidekick. The villainess
is darkest. If a woman is fat,
she is a joke and will probably die.

In movies, the blondest are the best
and in bleaching lies not only purity
but victory. If two people are both
extra pretty, they will end up
in the final clinch.

Only the flawless in face and body
win. That is why I treat
movies as less interesting
than comic books. The camera
is stupid. It sucks surfaces.

Let's go to the opera instead.
The heroine is fifty and weighs
as much as a '65 Chevy with fins.
She could crack your jaw in her fist.
She can hit high C lying down.

The tenor the women scream for
wolfs down an eight course meal daily.
He resembles a bull on hind legs.
His thighs are the size of beer kegs.
His chest is a redwood with hair.

Their voices twine, golden serpents.
Their voices rise like the best
fireworks and hang and hang
then drift slowly down descending
in brilliant and still fiery sparks.

The hippopotamus baritone (the villain)
has a voice that could give you
an orgasm right in your seat.
His voice smokes with passion.
He is hot as lava. He erupts nightly.

The contralto is, however, svelte.
She is supposed to be the soprano's
mother, but is ten years younger,
beautiful and Black. Nobody cares.
She sings you into her womb where you rock.

What you see is work like digging a ditch,
hard physical labor. What you hear
is magic as tricky as knife throwing.
What you see is strength like any
great athlete's. What you hear

is still rendered precisely as the best
Swiss watchmaker. The body is
resonance. The body is the cello case.
The body just is. The voice loud
as hunger remagnetizes your bones.

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Pam Adams (---)
Date: October 07, 2003 07:42PM

Try some Newman Levy. [] />

CARMEN — Lyrics by Newman Levy in "Opera Guyed," 1923, Alfred A. Knopf; music from EL PASO.

In Spain, where the courtly Castilian hidalgo
Twangs lightly each night his romantic guitar,
Where the castanets clink on the gay piazetta
And strains of fandangoes are heard from afar;
There lived, I am told, a bold hussy named Carmen
A pampered young vamp full of devil and guile.
Cigarette and cigar men were smitten with Carmen;
From near and from far men were caught with her smile.

Now one day it happened she got in a scrap, and
Proceeded to beat up a girl in the shop,
Till someone suggested they have her arrested
And though she protested they called in a cop.
In command of the guard was a shavetail named Jose
A valiant young don with a weakness for janes,
And so great was her beauty this bold second loot, he
Could not do his duty and put her in chains.

"I'm sorry, my dear, to appear to arrest you ---
At best you are hardly much more than a kid.
If I let you go, say, there'll be some expose.
But beat it," Said Jose, and beat it she did.
The scene now is changed to a strange sort of tavern
A hangout for gypsies, a rough sort of dive.
And Carmen, who CAN sing, is warbling and dancing
Awaiting her date, the late loot, to arrive.

In comes Escamillo, the toreadoro,
And sings his great solo 'mid plaudits and cheers.
And when he concludes, after three or four encores,
The gypsies depart and Don Jose appears.
These gypsy companions of Carmen are smugglers
The worst band of bandits and cut-throats in Spain,
And Jose, we know well's A.W.O.L. Says
He, "Since that's so, well, I guess I'll remain."

The gypsies depart to the heart of the mountains,
And with them goes Jose who's grouchy and sore.
For Carmen, the flirt, has deserted poor Jose,
And transferred her love to the toreador.
And as he sits sulking, he sees Escamillo.
A challenge is passed and they draw out their knives.
Till Jose, though lighter, disarms the bull fighter
And near kills the blighter when Carmen arrives.

Now comes Micaela, Don Jose's young sweetheart,
A nice looking blonde without much in her dome.
Says she, "Do you know, kid, you ma's kinda low, kid?"
Says Jose, "Let's go, kid," and follows her home.
At last we arrive at the day of the bullfight;
The grandstand is packed and the bleachers are full.
A picturesque scene, a square near the arena
The Plaza del Toro, or Place of the Bull.

Dark skinned senoritas with fans and mantillas
And haughty Castillians in festive array;
And dolled out to charm men, suspecting no harm,
Enters, last of all, Carmen to witness the fray.
But here's our friend Jose, who seizes her bridle. A
Wild homicidal glint gleams in his eye.
He's mad and disgusted and cries out, "You've busted
The heart that once trusted you. Wed me, or die!"

Though Carmen is frightened at how this scene might end,
I'm forced to admit she is game to the last.
She says to him, "Banish the notion and vanish!
Vamos! (which is Spanish for "run away fast."
A scream and a struggle! She reels and she staggers
For Don Jose's dagger's plunged deep in her breast.
No more will she flirt in her old way, that's certain.
So ring down the curtain, poor Carmen's at rest.

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: October 07, 2003 09:10PM

How about a different take on Teasdale:

T.S. Kerrigan

"Elvis kissed me once," she swears,
sitting in a neon dive
ordering her drinks in pairs.

Two stools down you nurse a beer,
sensing easy pickings here.

"Back in sixty-eight," she sighs,
smoothing back her yellow hair.
Teared mascara smears her eyes.

Drawing near, you claim you've met,
offer her a cigarette.

"Call me cheap," she sobs, "or bad,
say that decent men dismissed me,
say I've lost my looks, but add,
Elvis kissed me."


Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: October 08, 2003 04:52AM

Les - Teasdale's poem, The Look is itself probably a take on Leigh Hunt's Jenny Kiss'd me - not sure which one Kerrigan was parodying, but it seems to have more similarity with the Hunt poem:

Leigh Hunt. 1784–1859

592. Jenny kiss'd Me

JENNY kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
The Look

STREPHON kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Haunts me night and day.

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: October 08, 2003 11:47AM

Thank you Marian, I was not aware that the two poems were so similar. I immediately thought of Teasdale, but I'm sure you're right. It was probably Hunt that he had in mind.


Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: October 08, 2003 02:46PM

Hugh, just a note. You'll notice a post by Desi on the Lost Quotations page by Vanillazoo. Apparently rumors of her disappearance are premature.


Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: October 08, 2003 03:57PM

Yeah, I saw her over there. No tan lines, either. Shameless behavior at those beaches on Crete!

Re: Satire-ish poems
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.18.---)
Date: October 08, 2003 04:00PM

So, you've bought your ticket, right?


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