Franklin Pierce Adams

Franklin Pierce Adams
To a Thesaurus
O precious codex, volume, tome,
Book, writing, compilation, work,
Attend the while I pen a pome,
A jest, a jape, a quip, a quirk.
For I would pen, engross, indite,
Transcribe, set forth, compose, address,
Record, submit–yea, even write
An ode, an elegy to bless–
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A Ballad of Baseball Burdens
The burden of hard hitting. Slug away
Like Honus Wagner or like Tyrus Cobb.
Else fandom shouteth: “Who said you could play?
Back to the jasper league, you minor slob!”
Swat, hit, connect, line out, get on the job.
Else you shall feel the brunt of fandom’s ire
Biff, bang it, clout it, hit it on the knob—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.
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Baseball’s Sad Lexicon
These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
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Bricks and Straw
My desk is cleared of the litter of ages;
Before me glitter the fair white pages;
My fountain pen is clean and filled,
And the noise of the office has long been stilled.
Roget’s Thesaurus is at my hand,
And I’m ready to do some work that’s grand,
Dignified, eminent, great, momentous,
Memorable, worthy of note, portentous,
Beautiful, paramount, vital, prime,
Stirring, eventful, august, sublime.
For this is the way, I have read and heard,
That authors look for the fitting word.
All of the proud ingredients mine
To build, like Marlowe, the mighty line.
But never a line from my new-filled pen
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The Flat-Hunter’s Way
We don’t get any too much light;
It’s pretty noisy, too, at that;
The folks next door stay up all night;
There’s but one closet in the flat;
The rent we pay is far from low;
Our flat is small and in the rear;
But we have looked around, and so
We think we’ll stay another year.

Our dining-room is pretty dark;
Our kitchen’s hot and very small;
The “view” we get of Central Park
We really do not get at all.
The ceiling cracks and crumbles down
Upon me while I’m working here—
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Lines from a Plutocratic Poetaster to a Ditch-digger
Sullen, grimy, labouring person,
As I passed you in my car,
I could sense your muffled curse on
It and me and my cigar;
And though mute your malediction,
I could feel it on my head,
As in countless works of fiction
I have read.

Envy of mine obvious leisure
Seemed to green your glittering eye;
Hate for mine apparent pleasure
Filled you as I motored by.
You who had to dig for three, four
Hours in that unpleasant ditch,
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A New York Child’s Garden of Verses
(With the usual.) I

In winter I get up at night,
And dress by an electric light.
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A Psalm of Freudian Life
Tell me not in mormonful numbers
“Life is but an empty dream!”
To a student of the slumbers
Things are never what they seem.

Life is yearning and suppression;
Life is that to be enjoyed;
Puritanical discretion
Was not spoke by Dr. Freud.

Deep enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to dream, that each to-morrow
Finds us Freudier than to-day.

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To the Returned Girls
Will you read my little pome,
O you girls returnèd home
From a summertime of sport
At the Jolliest Resort,
From a Heated Term of joys
Far from urban dust and noise?

You I speak to in this rhyme,
You have had a Glorious Time
Swimming, golfing, bridging, dancing,
Riding, tennising, romancing,
On the springboard, on the raft—
You’ve been often photographed.

At the place you have forsaken,
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