Works in the Herald 1934

According to a newspaper headline: "Women Cricketers Must not Talk." The English Women's Cricket Association has forbidden members of the women's Test team to give interviews, and the player-writer ban is to be enforced.

They must not talk....That strong and silent creature,
   The male of homo sapiens, bears the ban
With calm aplomb.  Speech is a trivial feature
   In any sport conducted by mere man.
Thus, when our flannelled Knights go forth to battle,
  They dumbly concentrate upon the game.
But must athletic Eve refrain from prattle
   Because of that?  No, no!  'Tis not the same.

Sauce for the goose, 'tis said, is sauce for gander,
   And vice versa.  Futile euphony!
To differentiate, defer and pander
   Was e'er the rule when dealing with the "She."
Sharp hooks in ears of elephants may steer them
   Quite painlessly.  But what sane man would try
To harness doves, or bring a halter near them,
   Or bit and bridle to a butterfly?

They must not talk....Such order to a shrinking,
   Press-dodging cricketer brings small distress,
But, listen girls, what sort of sloppy thinking
   Seeks to extend it to the cricketress?
Go, tell the bee she may not buzz in summer
   'Mid honeyed bloom.  Go, bid the bush birds "Hush!"
Emus are dumb indeed - could scarce be dumber;
   But who, for that, would gag the singing thrush?

So, when you note the agonised expression
  On Short-stop's flower-like face, the look of pain
That lurks 'neath Long-on's lip-stick, 'tis repression
   That irks them temporarily; but in vain.
For, soon or late, the prisoned flood, o'erflowing
   Each carmined lip, down thro' the land shall spill
To what far field man ne'er had means of knowing.
   They must not talk? ... Sez you! ... They must - and will.

Herald, 12 October 1934, p6 and The Queenslander, 25 October 1934, p33

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-10