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PG Wooster, Just as he Useter -- Ogden Nash

Guest poem sent in by Suresh Ramasubramanian
(Poem #353) PG Wooster, Just as he Useter
  Bound to your bookseller, leap to your library,
  Deluge your dealer with bakshish and bribary,
  Lean on the counter and never say when,
  Wodehouse and Wooster are with us again.

  Flourish the fish-slice, your buttons unloosing,
  Prepare for the fabulous browsing and sluicing,
  And quote, til you're known as the neighborhood nuisance,
  The gems that illumine the browsance and sluicance.

  Oh, fondle each gem, and after you quote it,
  Kindly inform me just who wrote it.

  Which came first, the egg or the rooster?
  P.G.Wodehouse or Bertram Wooster?
  I know hawk from handsaw, and Finn from Fiji,
  But I can't disentangle Bertram from PG.

  I inquire in the school room, I ask in the road house,
  Did Wodehouse write Wooster, or Wooster Wodehouse?
  Bertram Wodehouse and PG Wooster,
  They are linked in my mind like Simon and Schuster.

  No matter which fumbled in '41,
  Or which the woebegone figure of fun.
  I deduce how the faux pas came about,
  It was clearly Jeeves's afternoon out.

  Now Jeeves is back, and my cheeks are crumply
  From watching him glide through Steeple Bumpleigh.
-- Ogden Nash
  NY Herald Tribune 22 May 1946, p 2 (Ogden Nash's book review of
  Joy in the Morning).

  --- review ---

This is a real "Golden trashery of Ogden Nashery" - <Nash's
description of one of his anthologies>.  Nash writes with the
authority of a long time fan of Wodehouse - and one with a sense of
humor best qualified to appreciate Plum's jokes.

Note the use of classic PGW phrases - "browsing and sluicing" for
example.  Also the fact that PGW loves to use obscure quotes from
"The Poet Keats" and the Bible to Gilbert and Sullivan operas in the
most ludicrous context possible.

The last stanza points out that Wodehouse still remains popular,
despite the blasting he received in William "Cassandra" Connor for
his "pro Nazi broadcasts" in 1941.

By the way - PGW became rather a close pal of Connor after this
(even saving his bacon when Evelyn Waugh wanted to roast him in
his famous BBC broadcast in praise of Plum).

Suresh Ramasubramanian | CAUCE India ||

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Honoria said...

Great post. One correction though. Wodehouse's broadcasts were not "pro Nazi". The broadcasts were a humorous account of his experiences as a prisoner (internee) after Germans captured the French town where he was living before the war. The controversy was because he broadcast on German radio.

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