Friday, April 2, 2010

Poetry Friday: What's truly English?



My walk to work takes me through Central Park. It's like walking through a picture book: dog-walkers, joggers, school children, the turning of the seasons. I passed a host of golden daffodils this morning and thought: Shall I use Wordsworth's well-worn chestnut for Poetry Friday today? Nah. Who can bear to read that one again.

Then came to mind "Oh, to be in England, Now that April's there!" a poem I once had by heart but which now mercifully is gone from memory.

No to Browning, no to Wordsworth, but England seemed to be in the air. Hence the below, from that great unsung Irish laureate, Spike Milligan:

TEETH

English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.


English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.


English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them --
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.


Thanks again to the brilliant anthologist Wallace Tripp, in whose Marguerite, Go Wash Your Feet! I first found this poem.



4 comments:

brattcat said...

We've got some lovely English teeth visiting at the moment and there's not a brown, grey, or blackened bit in sight.

cmcdwh said...

Thank you for posting the Martin Amis photo, too. For anyone who has ever read "Dead Babies," it explains everything. -- Carol Hamlin

Lee Wind said...

This made me laugh - loverly.
thanks for sharing,
Namaste,
Lee

Hazel Mitchell said...

Now this really did make me feel nostalgic, being a Brit living in Maine. How I loved Spike Milligan, The Goons and his sharp, crazy, nonsensical wit! I listen to BBC radio 7 who repeat The Goons frequently!