The prompt at NaPoWriMo today is to write a satire or parody of a famous poem. The following poem may not have been famous itself, but the author was. I am using the poem “Myself” by Edgar Guest who was known as the people’s poet. The reason that I am using this is that it is that I can remember groaning the first time I read it years ago.
Here’s the original
I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself up in sham.
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to think as I come and go
That I’m for bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself — and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
Here’s my version
I have to live with myself, for no one else will don’t you know
I want to be fit for myself to know, even though a good many things about me blow
I want to be able to eat all of this pie
Even though my expanding waist makes me cry
I don’t want to be compared to Attila the Hun
And cause all of the children with my temper to run
I don’t want people to keep comparing my ears to an elf
Their barbs wound me to the point of taking the whiskey down from the shelf
The ears come in handy when Winter comes and it snows
I work part time at the mall with Santa though no one can know
This morning I ran out of butter and sprayed my boyfriend’s toast with Pam
Oh god what if he finds out how lame I really am
Sometimes I think that I have no self respect
Here I stand in front of the mirror looking at myself
And feel an overwhelming need to chelf
I don’t want my skirt to rise over my head as the wind blows
It is ever so tiresome providing so many free shows
And no one ever wants to travel with me
For it is always I who needs to stop to go pee
On this bleak night I hang my head in sorrow
For I can’t wait to leave the party and just go home
At least there I don’t have to pretend to be wild and free
My cozy slippers and book await, I can simply be me