Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scrutable Poetry Corner: "Il Penseroso"

Ahh, beauty in the May 18, 1929 New Yorker.
Sad weird figures garbed in white,
With their headgears tall and fearful,
Faces drawn--druidic sight,
Seated dumb--not gay, not tearful.
How they scan unconscious mortals,
As they come and go again,
Crossing through forbidden portals.
Are they happy or in pain?
Do they plan the fate of nations,
Gathered round, this mystic seven--
Good or evil machinations?
Do they think of hell or heaven?
Do they ponder living? Dying?
Pestilence? The battle axe?
No, their thoughts are all on drying
Waves put in by Antoine, Saks.
"Antoine de Paris" -- originally Antek Cierplikowski -- was one of the more famous upscale hairstylists in 1920's New York. He claimed to have invented the shingle bob hairstyle, and therefore became the first of a long line of "celebrity stylists." has an interesting writeup about him here.

As for this poem it is credited only to "Bunny," but her real name was supposedly Eleanor W. Koehler. You may well ask "Who's that?" I haven't got a clue, but any bunny is a good bunny.

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