Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Un peu d'Ogden

The Irish guy I sit next to at work is super nice (translation: he doesn’t get annoyed by my endless stream of questions). And he loves language and literature like nobody’s business. Yesterday he shared this Ogden Dash poem, which is quite perfect, after I said, “Absolument.”

I wander through a Paris shower.
Off to inspect a flat à louer.

The water pours as from a pitcher
On walls inscribed Défense d’afficher.

If I had splashed through such a pond,
I don’t remember where or quand.

With raindrops glistening on my garment.
I reach my goal, I don’t know comment.

I ring. I do not wish to trespass;
For trespassing is naughty, n’est-ce pas?

The stairway irks my fallen arch.
Because one learns l’ascenseur ne marche.

I like the flat: with cheerful mien
I murmur to the man, ‘Combien?’

He mentions his idea of payment,
I say that it’s exorbitant, vraiment!

Have I misunderstood his statement?
I do not speak the French parfaitement.

He mentions a reduced emolument,
I cry that it’s a deal, absolument.

And now I think a glass of wine
Would not be too unpleasant, hein?

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