Works in the Herald 1935

The parks and gardens committee of the City Council has refused permission for a private company to exhibit Punch and Judy shows in public parks. The committee, will, however, consider the lighting of certain public fountains on summer nights.

Not in our public parks, for private gain.
   This centuries-old precursor of all dramas
That lured babes in old Italy and Spain
   To plague for pence their medieval mamas.
Not for the modern child: this crude display
   Of brutal bouts with staves, or battles fictic;
So wise and reverend city elders say.
   But we might get lighted fountains .... 'Ow hartistic!
Not in our playgrounds may the showman pitch
   His box of tricks that, from our great-gand-daddies
And their great-great-grand-daddies, drew those rich,
   Fat chuckles of pure joy, when they were laddies.
Not for our bairns: that vulgar figure, Punch
   With his hypocrisy and moods plenetic,
His Mammoth nose, his ugly, malformed hunch.
   But we might have colored fountains .... 'Ow hesthetic!
Not Punch: that wicked well-loved reprobate,
   Beneath false jocularity concealing
A world of mordant and malicious hate;
   Beneath his leer, sad lack of all nice feeling.
Not Judy: feckless spouse, doomed ne'er to know
   Domestic peace, but e'er to find some rift in
The matrimonial lute. A sordid show!
   But illuminated water! .... So hupliftin'.
Ponder effects upon the plastic mond:
   Police made victims of a murderer's revel!
Infanticide! Wife beating! Then to find
   A crude portrayal of a personal devil!
It must creat false values, such low life
   As Punchinello and his gang would paint it.
A homicidal crook with half-wit wife!
   But we might have rainbow fountains .... 'Ighbrow, hain't it?

Herald, 24 August 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005-07