Thursday, December 07, 2006


So there I am, cheating on poetry, hanging out at Michelle Buonfiglio's Romance by the Blog when a woman posts a comment asking, inter alia, " Any of you girls read a poem called: 'The Did-you-Come-yets of the Western World'? It's worth looking up. Hilarious."

With a title like that, how could I resist? It's by the contemporary Irish poet Rita Ann Higgins, and goes like this:

The Did-You-Come-Yets of the Western World
(Witch, 1988)

When he says to you:
You look so beautiful
you smell so nice --
how I've missed you --
and did you come yet?

It means nothing,
and he is smaller
than a mouse's fart.

Don't listen to him ...
Go to Annaghdown Pier
with your father's rod.
Don't necessarily hold out
for the biggest one;
oftentimes the biggest ones
are the smallest in the end.

Bring them all home,
but not together.
One by one is the trick;
avoid red herrings and scandal.

Maybe you could take two
on the shortest day of the year.
Time is the cheater here
not you, so don't worry.

Many will bite the usual bait;
they will talk their slippery way
through fine clothes
and expensive perfume,
fishing up your independence.

These are the did-you-come-yets of the western world,
the feather and fin rufflers.
Pity for them they have no wisdom.

Others will bite at any bait.
Maggot, suspender, or dead worm.
Throw them to the sharks.

In time one will crawl
out from under thigh-land.
Although drowning he will say,
"Woman I am terrified, why is this house shaking?"
And you'll know he's the one.

No comments: