Sunday, March 24, 2013

Found poem: "They Don't Speak English in Paris"

Forgotten Bookmarks is always a wonder to browse. I can't imagine how much I've left behind in books, from the hastily-jotted phone number to story ideas that evaporate into thin air (the expected flotsam of a paper-notated life). Here is a whole website devoted to the lost and found of books containing more than their contents pages promise; the note at end ("Love this, and Gert. Stein") shows a sense of humor about literary criticism every reader ought to cultivate.

Poem on pink paper:

They Don't Speak English in Paris

I wish that I could get in line
And shout the praise of Gertrude Stein
In any high class hullabaloo
I rather like to holler to;
I hate like anything to miss
Smelling the roar of Ah! Boom! Siss!
And most particularly when
THe cheers are led by famous men.
The fault I'm sure is solely mine,
But I cannot root for Gertrude Stein.
For Gertrude Stein I cannot root
I cannot blow a single toot;
I must preserve a dreary silence
Tho' doomed thereby to d????? violence.
I'm fond of women, also wine?
But not the song of Gertrude Stein.
No laurels can I pass, alas.
No pidgeons in the grass, alas.
Oh woefully must I decline
To dance in the street for Gertrude Stein.
O, Gertrude, Gertrude, is it me?
Couldn't it possibly be thee?
Not in the face of all the roses
Avoided by they? who ????
From Walla Walla to the Rhine
Carillons sang for Gertrude Stein
Rung not by nitwit nincompoops
But geniuses in pervert groups.
Those p?? of talent most divine
Scratch ????? for Gertrude Stein
U???? all their personal muttons
Tyey genuflect to tender buttons.
Why must I grunt, a lovely swine,
Rejecting the pearls of Gertrude Stein?
Why can't I praise in cataracts
The Four such Saints in these such Acts?
Four Saints, Three Acts, Three Acts in fact
The act gets a Saint and a third an act??
And Lizzie Borden took three axe
And gave her mother tongue forty whacks
And a hundred eminent artistic figures
Swallowed the woodpile including the n???es
I prefer to wade their Rasselas
To pidgeons in the grass, alas
The English language is better as language
Share spattered like a lettuce & mayonnaise sausage
So let those who will read Alice B. Toklas,
And I'll take the complete works
of Shakespeare and a box of choclas.

--Love this, and Gert. Stein-
Found in "1984" by George Orwell. Published by Signet, 1961.

No comments: