Saturday, July 23, 2011

A. P. Herbert Poem

At the Theatre: To the Lady Behind Me

Dear Madam, you have seen this play;
I never saw it till today.
You know the details of the plot,
But let me tell you, I do not.
The author seeks to keep from me
The murderer's identity,
And you are not a friend of his
If you keep shouting who it is.
The actors in their funny way
Have several funny things to say,
But they do not amuse me more
If you have said them just before;
The merit of the drama lies,
I understand, in some surprise;
But the surprise must now be small
Since you have just foretold it all.
The lady you have brought with you
Is I infer, a half-wit too,
But I can understand the piece
Without assistance from your niece.
In short, foul woman, it would suit
Me just as well if you were mute;
In fact to make my meaning plain,
I trust you will not speak again.
And---may I add one human touch?---
Don't breathe upon my neck so much.