Synthetic Beauties by C.J. Dennis

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Taking as his subject "Dare to be natural," the Rev. Penry Evans said recently that many women nowadays adopt film stars as models.  He was surprised a few days ago to find himself seated in a tram between Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.

Where are the girls we used to know
   Ere the movies came to town?
Jane and Jessie, Fan and Flo,
Who borrowed plumes from none to show
   A second-hand renown.
They were their own sweet selves alone --
Or we thought so then; and we must have known.
   There's a treasure lost in the film's mad whirl,
   'Tis the dinkum little Aussie girl.
I wake each morn to a strange new world
   Obsessed by celluloid;
Then cityward by train I'm hurled
With ghostly beauties, prinked and curled
   Whose looks I can't avoid:
Bevies of saucy Clara Bows
And Janet Gaynors set in rows,
   Alike, yet unalike to me
In all their waxen mimicry.
At last, when I have reached the town
   My letters I dictate;
And Greta Garbo takes them down
Arranged in an exotic gown,
   With eyes of brooding fate.
Joan Crawford brings me morning tea
And casts strange languorous looks at me,
   While Marlene Dietrich, flitting by,
   Regards me with a vampish eye.
And when I venture out to lunch,
   Ann Harding serves my hash.
And when I have contrived to munch
A bite, mid an exotic brunch,
   Kay Francis takes my cash.
And so, at last, when day is done
And beauties vanish, one by one,
   I go and buy my evening sheet
   From Marie Dressler in the street.

First published in The Herald, 12 July 1933

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 12, 2013 7:33 AM.

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