Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Waiting for the Birdie

I first heard Ogden Nash's "Waiting for
the Birdie" in Drama class at the
BOB. We did it as readers theater
along with Sandburg's "Jazz Fantasia"
and Benets "Stage Directions." What
a blast!

My son called and needed a poem for
rhetoric class. I know this is a
good one, but couldn't find it linked
on the web. So, I'll put it up.


Waiting for the Birdie
Ogden Nash

Some hate broccoli, some hate bacon,
I hate having my picture taken.
How can your family claim to love you
And then demand a picture of you?
The electric chair is a comfortless chair,
But I know an equally comfortless pair;
One is the dentist’s, my good sirs,
And the other is the photographer’s.
Oh, the fly in all domestic ointments
Is affectionate people who make appointments
To have your teeth filled left and right.
Or you face reproduced in black and white.
You open the door and you enter the studio,
And you feel less cheerio than nudio.
The hard light shines like seventy suns,
And you know your features are foolish ones.
The photographer says, Natural, please,
And you cross your knees and uncross your knees.
Like a duke in a high society chronicle
The camera glares at you through its monocle
And you feel ashamed of your best attire,
Your nose itches, your palms perspire,
Your muscles stiffen, and all the while
You smile and smile and smile and smile.
It’s over; you weakly grope for the door;
It’s not; the photographer wants one more.
And if this experience you survive,
Wait, just wait till the proofs arrive.
You look like a drawing by Thurber or Bab,
Or a gangster stretched on a marble slab.
And all your dear ones, including your wife,
Say There he is, that’s him to the life!
Some hate broccoli, some hate bacon,
But I hate having my picture taken.


Blogger Angie said...

I like Ogden Nash and I dislike having my picture taken--so I really enjoyed this poem. Thanks for posting it.

"You look like a drawing by Thurber or Bab..."

I know about Thurber's crude cartoon drawings, but who is Bab?

10:37 AM  
Blogger oldfatslow said...

Thanks Angie.

I checked my spelling and it is correct, but I haven't been able to track he or she down. Wikipedia only lists a Bab as the founder of Baha'i. I doubt it's him.

I would love to trade places with Craig. I love to read poetry to an audience. I heard the father of a classmate read Poe's "Bells" when I was in 6th grade and I was hooked. I'm considered dour and serious by folks so I love to read oddly funny poems. That's why I keep my copy of the collected works of Robert Service close. But, Sandburg is my favorite. I've read "Little Word, Little White Bird." That is a super poem. I heard that done as part of a senior recital at the BOB. I was rehooked.


5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bab was the childhood nickname of W. Gilbert with which he signed many of his cartoons. I had to know it for my speech and drama exam.

12:23 PM  
Blogger oldfatslow said...

Thanks for the Bab update.
I found out that he was
the Gilbert of Gilbert
and Sullivan fame. Here's
a link to some of his
Bab works.



1:00 PM  

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