Poem introduction

After listening to my predecessors I feel more than ever lower than the angels, but I shall proceed nevertheless. This is a verse called 'Allow Me Madam (but it won't help'.

Allow Me Madam

Allow Me Madam

Adorable is an adjective and womankind is a noun
And I often wonder why although adorable womankind chooses to talk standing up, it chooses to put on its coat sitting down.
What is the outstanding characteristic of matinées, tearooms and table d'hôtes?
Beautiful women sitting firmly and uncomfortably on their coats.
Women at whose talents a contortionist would hesitate to scoff
Because they also sat down on their coats to take them off.
What is savoir faire?
It is the ability to pick up 85 cents in nickels and a lipstick with the right hand while the left hand is groping wildly over the back of a chair.
And if you really desire to see savoir faire that you could balance a cup on
Please consider the calmness of a woman trying to get her arm into the sleeve of a coat that she is sat down on too far up on.

from Candy is Dandy: the best of Ogden Nash (Andre Deutsch, 1994), by permission of Curtis Brown Ltd, New York. Recordings used by permission of the BBC

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