Modern Language Association
“Was I too hearty. Did he think me bold?
Should I have said, ‘like hell,’ and not ‘like fun’?
Does my mustache not make me look too old?
(He wants a man whose graduate work is done.)
Nebraska Wesleyan is probably cold,
I’d rather get down south of
He didn’t seem to like that joke I told;
Jeez, he’s a solemn-looking son of a gun!”
Thus the young savant ponders at his ease,
Knitting the critical brow, and on the belly
Twirling the scholarly thumb, while Ph.D's
Deal with the manuscripts of Machiavelli,
The intervocalic 'X in Portuguese,
And the unfaithfulness of Harriet Shelley.
A Salute to the Modern Language Association, Convening in the Hotel Pennsylvania
The Modern Language Association
Meets in the Hotel Pennsylvania
And the: suave greeters in consternation
Hark to the guests indulging their mania
For papers on “Adalbert Stifter as the Spokesman of Middle-Class Conservatism,”
And “The American Revolution in the Gazette de Leyde and the Affaires de l’Angleterre et de I’Amerique,”
And "Emerson and the Conflict Between Platonic and Kantian Idealism,”
And “Dialektgeographie and Textkritik,”
And “Vestris and Macready: Nineteenth-Century Management at the Parting of the Ways,”
And “Pharyngeal Changes in Vowel and Consonant Articulation,”
And "More Light. on Moliere’s Theater in 1672-73 from Le Registre d'Hubert, Archives of the Comedie Francaise,”
And “Diderot’s Theory of Imitation.”
May culture’s glossolalia, clinging
In Exhibit Rooms and Parlor A,
Sober awhile the tempestuous singing
Of fraternal conventions, untimely gay;
May your influence quell, like a panacea,
A business assembly’s financial fevers,
With the faint, sweet memory of "Observaciones sobre la aspiration de H en Andalucia,"
And "The Stimmsprung (Voice Leap) of Sievers.”