Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dear Reader: Get a Set of the Palace Cards!

"Poetry & Popular Culture" continues to showcase the small-business poets of yesteryear—such as Dr. C.B. Weagley Veterinary Surgeon and C.G. Blatt's Photographic Emporium—who hawked their services, wares, and varying levels of expertise via poetry. Relying on their bardness to take care of their bidness, these inglorious Miltons participated in the project of America's free enterprise if not the freeing of its verse.

About a month ago, "Poetry & Popular Culture" introduced readers to The Palace Saloon and Restaurant of Hagerstown, Maryland, which issued a series of bawdy poem cards around the turn of the century in order to promote the fine dining and drinking establishment. This month—after fielding several requests from eager readers asking for more—we are happy to present poem number 13, "Ladies Favorite," for your reading pleasure. In addition to the double entendre that drives the verse and its casual use of rhyming fourteener couplets hearkening back to the 16th century, "Poetry & Popular Culture" is especially pleased by how "Ladies Favorite" evokes in its penultimate line the "dear reader" of Victorian convention:

Ladies Favorite

Ladies like it in the morning, some prefer it at night,
Some love it Oh! how dearly, and for it they would fight;
Some love to gently play with and feel its silken hair,
To see it sweet with passion and spit up in the air,
Some take it in their little hand and stroke its little head,
Some take it in the cellar, some take it in the bed;
Some gently rub it up and down, with soft and tender hands,
And so dearly do they love it—they quickly make it stand;
Some take it on the housetop—on the comet to gaze,
And others toward the twinkling star make its bull head raise.
Many have been sorely bitten by the naughty little thing,
And then give to others so they may feel its sting;
Forgive me my dear reader I forgot to tell you that—
The subject of my little poem is nothing but a Cat.

Grab your teacups, folks, give that parasol a turn, and gather up your petticoats indeed!

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