Monday, February 19, 2007

BOOK TALK 2007: A Poem

Dressed in uniforms of blue,
The word police arrived at two.
With laser eyes, they scanned our pages
And locked our naughty words in cages.
Then up we cried: “You’ve taken text!
Will you remove our pictures next?”

“Your pictures?” one policeman said.
“We only take the stuff that’s read.
Your naughty words must be excised.
Let all your authors be advised
To watch their words when they compose
Their poetry…and all their prose.”

Warning given…the men in blue
Then turned to leave. They bid adieu.
We books now left with words deleted
Feel somehow, sadly, incompleted.

Who’s got a solution antidotal
For the current row o’er something scrotal?

Note: I admit to being bothered by the tone of certain comments made at some blogs regarding "The Great Scrotum Debate." Many individuals have made thoughtful comments. A number of commenters, however, have labeled people and parents as fascists and ninnies. Does this sort of talk really add anything to the debate?


Anonymous said...

Great poem! I agree with your note about labeling. It's easy to do out of frustration but then we're just falling into the same trap. It's out of misunderstanding and fear that negative comments are made. Let's hope that this discourse can raise the level of communication and encourage people to look at the BIG picture. (And especially read the ENTIRE material of concern)

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Gretchen.

I don't believe in banning books. I do believe in listening to the questions and concerns posed by caring parents, teachers, and librarians. I think much more can be accomplished through thoughtful discourse--which can often diffuse tense situations--than through angry rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

My husband says he'll write a new play called The Scrotum Monologues.

Thanks for the great post!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I guess we could appoint your husband to be our "scrotum factotum."

Mary Lee said...

Your poem is fabulous. So understated until the final, brilliant couplet. What a rhyme! Roy Blount, Jr. and Garrison Keillor would be proud!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Mary Lee,

Thanks for the nice words about my poem. I find there are times when I am inspired to write poetry in response to some issue or incident that has everyone buzzing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, he'll love that, Elaine. I'll tell him!

Nancy said...

Fun poem and interesting discussion all around.

I also find the comments from some people disturbing. Especially because some are people whose blogs I read every day!

I was thinking of lending this book to my 9-year-old niece, but I have to clear it with her mother first because I don't know how either of them will feel about the word "scrotum" in the book. It IS an issue. I can love the book and still recognize that it IS an issue. Sigh....

Elaine Magliaro said...


I can suggest another book that's great reading for a 9-year old girl--THE PENDERWICKS: A SUMMER TALE OF FOUR SISTERS, TWO RABBITS, AND A VERY INTERESTING BOY. It won a National Book Award. It has an old-fashioned kind of charm--and you can feel safe recommending it to your niece. I really enjoyed it!