Dec. 30, 2003
My Agent Says
Poem: "My Agent Says," by R.S. Gwynn, from No Word of Farewell: Selected Poems 1970-2000 (Story Line Press).
My Agent Says
My agent says Los Angeles will call.
My broker says to sell without delay.
My doctor says the spot is very small.
My lover says get tested right away.
My congressman says yes, he truly cares.
My bottle says he'll see me after five.
My mirror says to pluck a few stray hairs.
My mother says that she is still alive.
My leader says we may have seen the worst.
My mistress says her eyes are like the sun.
My bride says that it's true I'm not the first.
My landlord says he'd think about a gun.
My boss says that I'd better take a chair.
My enemy says turn the other cheek.
My rival says that all in love is fair.
My brother says he's coming for a week.
My teacher says my work is very neat.
My ex-wife says I haven't heard the last.
My usher says the big guy's in my seat.
My captain says to bind him to the mast.
My master says I must be taught my place.
My conscience says my schemes will never fly.
My father says he doesn't like my face.
My lawyer says I shouldn't testify.
My buddy says this time I've got it bad.
My first love says she can't recall my name.
My baby says my singing makes her sad.
My dog says that she loves me all the same.
My pastor says to walk the narrow path.
My coach says someone else will get the ball.
My God says I shall bend beneath his wrath.
My agent says Los Angeles may call.
Literary and Historical Notes:
It's the birthday of writer Sara Lidman, born in Västerbotten, Sweden (1923). She wrote The Tar Still (1953), Cloudberry Land (1955) and a number of other novels set in the small villages of rural northern Sweden, where she grew up.
It's the birthday of Paul Bowles, born in New York City (1910). He's the author of The Sheltering Sky (1949), and many other novels. He lived most of his life in exile in France and Morocco.
It's the birthday of Stephen Leacock, born in Hampshire, England (1869). He wrote Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912), and Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich (1914). He was working as a political economist but his family needed money, so he started to write humor pieces for Canadian magazines in his spare time. Eventually he grew to be one of the best-known humorists in the English-speaking world. Leacock wrote, "Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions."
It's the birthday of Rudyard Kipling, born in Bombay, India (1865). He's the author of Kim (1901) and The Jungle Book (1894), and he was the first British writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was educated in England, but then he returned to India to work as a newspaper reporter, writing stories about British colonial society. He supplied filler and verse to go in the dead spaces between the stories, and it was collected in Departmental Ditties (1886) and Plain Tales from the Hills (1888). The books made him famous in Britain well before he returned there to live. His reputation grew, and he was nominated for many honors, including Poet Laureate. He declined this post, and many others, but he often wrote as if he were the national poet of England, exhorting his countrymen to uphold the Empire. He wrote "Take up the White Man's burden— / Send forth the best ye breed / Go bind your sons to exile / To serve your captives' need. ..."
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