Saturday, April 24, 2010

A bunch of namby-pamby

You can eat my hat
and while at that
starve on my scarf

Feel free to
munch my mustache,
belie my belly button,
scrape my sternum
(but lightly),
chill my cheek,
tweak my beak,
knead my knees,
heal my heels
and muzzle my mouth

But never ever
tickle my toes
‘cause that causes
a sneeze of the nose

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2010)

Written for napowrimo #24, find a phrase.

Actually, I found two – “namby-pamby” (which stands for “childish and weakly sentimental”) and “I’ll eat my hat” and combined them in the namby-pamby poem above.

What is a namby-pamby poem?

Here’s one by Henry Carey to illustrate and deride the genre:

All ye poets of the age,
All ye witlings of the stage …
Namby-Pamby is your guide,
Albion's joy, Hibernia's pride.
Namby-Pamby, pilly-piss,
Rhimy-pim'd on Missy Miss
Tartaretta Tartaree
From the navel to the knee;
That her father's gracy grace
Might give him a placy place.

This satire is on English poet and playwright Ambrose Philips (1674-1749), “who became tutor to George I's grandchildren. The position gave him a status amongst the aristocracy, and he took the opportunity to advance his place in society by writing sycophantic sentimental poems in praise of their children. These were written in rather affected and insipid nursery language, of the 'eency-weency', 'goody-goody' sort.” (Quote from the Phrase Finder.)

2 comments:

flaubert said...

This is good. Love the part about tickle my toes.
Pamela

Dan Rako said...

I'll be back to tell you how much I enjoyed this. But first, a snack!