Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An 'A'musing Ogden Nash on Shelley

I came across this A (grade) musing poem by Ogden Nash referencing P B Shelley from the 1942 publication Good Intentions...

You and Me and P. B. Shelley

What is life? Life is stepping down a step or sitting in a chair,
And it isn't there
Life is not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor,
It is pulling doors marked ‘Push' and pushing doors marked ‘Pull' and not noticing notices which say ‘Please Use Other Door'.
Life is an Easter Parade.
In which you whisper: ‘No darling, if it's a boy we'll name him after your father!' into the ear of an astonished stranger because the lady you thought was walking beside you has stopped to gaze into a window full of radishes and hot malted lemonade.
It is when you diagnose a sore throat as an un-prepared geography lesson and send your child weeping to school only to be returned an hour later covered with spots that are indubitably genuine,
It is a concert with a trombone soloist filling in for Yehudi Menuhin.
Were it not for frustration and humiliation
I suppose the human race would get ideas above its station.
Somebody once described Shelley as a beautiful and ineffective angel beating his luminous wings against the void in vain,
Which is certainly describing with might and main,
But probably means that we are all brothers under our pelts,
And Shelley went around pulling doors marked ‘Push' and pushing doors marked ‘Pull' just like everybody else.

Ogden Nash

Comment ...
Who was the ‘someone' who described Shelley is such a way? ... And what does this say about their philosophical outlook in comparison to that of Shelley?

By the way, are poems that reference other poets more poetic?

Footnote ...
I am going to ask for a ‘hot malted lemonade' on my next visit to our local cafe ... perhaps not ... I prefer a ‘malted lime thick shake'!

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