Quantum Sufficit by C.J. Dennis

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A cable states that the German Nazi leaders are educating the nation to accept the idea of "extra wives."

"I only said this German plan
Had points," remarked the small, meek man.
   "I merely said an extra wife
   Might add variety to life.
Strange how a woman will resent
A hypothetic argument.
   I didn't mean my reference
   As personal, in any sense,
But she -- aw, why talk, anyhow?
         Look at me now!

"This eye.  These bumps, here, on my head.
This battered face.  I only said
   The Germans seemed to be a race
   Who had sane views of woman's place.
Who knew her value.  As I spoke
I smiled, to show it was a joke,
   A merry quip.  Have they no sense
   Of humor?  Are they all as dense
As she?  Will none of them allow --
         Look at me now!

"I only said that in the end
This German movement might extend
   To other lands.  I mean to say,
   I never meant it in the way
She took the words.  It isn't fair!
Jam on my clothes!  Egg in my hair!
   (Who'd think that she could aim so straight?)
   Those Teuton fools are tempting fate
To dream of more than one strong frau.
         Look at me now!

"At breakfast time it all began,
Like that," explained the small, meek man.
   "Look at me now!  These Nazis might
   Perceive a portent in my plight --
My humor scorned; egg in my hair --
If they could see her standing there,
   A vengeful fury, angry-eyed,
   Ere they would wish her multiplied
They'd think again, however tough.
         One is enough."

First published in The Herald, 10 March 1937;
and later in
Random Verse edited by Margaret Herron, 1952.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 10, 2013 9:56 AM.

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