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The Saginaw Song Analysis

Author: poem of Theodore Roethke Type: poem Views: 14

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In Saginaw, in Saginaw,

     The wind blows up your feet,

When the ladies' guild puts on a feed,

     There's beans on every plate,

And if you eat more than you should,

     Destruction is complete.

Out Hemlock Way there is a stream

     That some have called Swan Creek;

The turtles have bloodsucker sores,

     And mossy filthy feet;

The bottoms of migrating ducks

     Come off it much less neat.

In Saginaw, in Saginaw,

     Bartenders think no ill;

But they've ways of indicating when

     You are not acting well:

They throw you through the front plate glass

     And then send you the bill.

The Morleys and the Burrows are

     The aristocracy;

A likely thing for they're no worse

     Than the likes of you or me,—

A picture window's one you can't

     Raise up when you would pee.

In Shaginaw, in Shaginaw

     I went to Shunday Shule;

The only thing I ever learned

     Was called the Golden Rhule,—

But that's enough for any man

     What's not a proper fool.

I took the pledge cards on my bike;

     I helped out with the books;

The stingy members when they signed

     Made with their stingy looks,—

The largest contributors came

     From the town's biggest crooks.

In Saginaw, in Saginaw,

     There's never a household fart,

For if it did occur,

     It would blow the place apart,—

I met a woman who could break wind

     And she is my sweet-heart.

O, I'm the genius of the world,—

     Of that you can be sure,

But alas, alack, and me achin' back,

     I'm often a drunken boor;

But when I die—and that won't be soon—

     I'll sing with dear Tom Moore,

     With that lovely man, Tom Moore.


My father never used a stick,

     He slapped me with his hand;

He was a Prussian through and through

     And knew how to command;

I ran behind him every day

     He walked our greenhouse land.

I saw a figure in a cloud,

     A child upon her breast,

And it was O, my mother O,

     And she was half-undressed,

All women, O, are beautiful

     When they are half-undressed.

Submitted by Michael Schiavo


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