Thursday, September 01, 2011

Poetry Break: "My Cavity: A Mystery, That!"

Medieval Dentistry
Omne Bonum
James le Palmer
London, England
1360-1375
(Image from Wikipedia)

Time for yet another poetry break, and this one -- a parody of T. S. Eliot's "Macavity: The Mystery Cat" -- is dedicated to old friend and fellow 'Brother,' Tom Ball:
My Cavity: A Mystery, That!
My cavity's a mystery, it's called the hidden flaw --
For it's the master grime-in-all that doth defy my maw.
It's the bafflement of spot-on ward, the dentistry's despair:
For when the dentist looks within -- my cavity's not there!

My cavity, my cavity, there's nothing like my cavity,
It's broken every dental law, it undermines my gravity.
Its power 'gainst radiation would make technicians stare,
And when you think you've seen the grime -- my cavity's not there!
You may seek it in a molar, you may look into each lair --
I'll tell you once and once again, my cavity's not there!

My cavity -- touch gingerly! -- it's sensitive as sin,
You'd know it if you saw it, for it's surely sunken in.
Its crown is deeply cavernous, no longer highly domed;
Enamel dusky from neglect, and dentin long far roamed.
It loosely sways from side to side, with motions like a snake;
And when I think the pain's asleep, it's really wide awake.

My cavity, my cavity, there's nothing like my cavity,
For it's a fiend in toothsome shape, a monster of depravity.
You won't see it if I greet you, you won't see it anywhere --
It's ever undiscovered, for my cavity's not there!

It's outwardly respectable (eluding dental wards),
Nor will be found its x-rays 'mongst any dental cards.
But if the larder's looted, and jelly beans are rifled,
Or likesome ilk is missing, and my sweetest tooth is stifled,
Or the fridge again is broken from excessive tripping there --
Aye, there's the wonder of the thing! My cavity is there!

But when my dentist searches for some filling gone astray,
Or finds that he's been drilling on the wrong tooth, by the way,
He may stop and look and wonder, he may gaze and gape and stare --
But it's useless to investigate -- my cavity's not there!
And though no loss has been disclosed, the hapless dentists say:
"It must've been his cavity!" -- though it seems miles away.
No, you'll never find it rusting by probing with your thumbs,
Nor by quantitative reck'ning with long-division sums.

My cavity, my cavity, there's nothing like my cavity,
Never such a rotted tooth, deceitfulness, and suavity!
It doubtless has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
For every time a dentist checks -- MY CAVITY'S NOT THERE!
And they say all those ailments, all those evils widely known,
(I mention gingivitis and osteoclastic bone)
Are nothing but disguises for the one that all the time
Just controls their operations: the concavity of grime!
A parody, but I've again broken my cardinal rule: Parody only popular but mediocre poems so that the parody is better than the original.

Eliot's original is far superior in every way . . .

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6 Comments:

At 6:25 AM, Blogger dhr said...

Picture and poem:
my cavity is full open.

:-D :-D :-D

A high school mate had reworked a famous very-short, Dante-based poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti...

SOLDATI

Si sta come
d'autunno
sugli alberi
le foglie

[SOLDIERS

we stay like
in autumn
on the trees
the leaves]

... like that:

we stay like
in summer
on the beach
the pussy

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

What are the two Italian versions?

(I've never seen a kitty on the beach.)

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger dhr said...

the 'original fake' version was:

si sta come
d'estate
sulla spiaggia
la figa

(where the last word is a collective noun = a lot of pretty gals)

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I guess my Italian's just not good enough . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff.

Having some slight acquaintance with a schoolchum of yours (early years) I distinctly recall him explaining the teachers at Salem taught, "Pussy is one of those few words that can be either singular or plural."

Didn't you take notes?

JK

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

But I've still never seen either kitty or kitties on the beach . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

 

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