Sunday, July 15, 2012

CCCXXXIII - The French Connection

dVerse prompts us for a poem to celebrate Bastille Day, July 14th.

The French Connection

In school, the French got scant attention,
Only a few battles got much of a mention,
But it seems the French have been jumping
Since King Harry gave them a thumping.

They’ve brought the frog out of the pond 
And denim is now the ‘fabric du monde’.
They invented latex for the Bourgeoisie
And, for the kinky poor, made PVC.

They made the letter-box that we’re now all using
But not the French Letter, which I find amusing.
While they didn’t discover how to stop babies
They did discover how to stop rabies.

They invented the stethoscope to hear the heart
And little black dresses to make it start.
They made bayonets that would then perforate it
And blood transfusions to re-oxygenate it.

They invented the bra, to help breasts park,
And Braille, to help find it in the dark.
They invented the bikini, but only barely,
And Cartesian Coordinates, rather squarely.

They invented Aspirin, or so it’s said,
For those pains of the aching head.
If that didn’t work, they invented codeine.
Or, for the ultimate headache, the guillotine.

The food processor they claim as theirs
And baguettes, to eat with camemberts,
And margarine to make arteries thicken
And rude sounding meals, made of chicken.

They discovered radiation and radium (specific)
Then spread it all over the South Pacific.
They also claim the first manned plane flight
But no-one told the brothers Wright.

They created Moulin Rouge and Folies Bergère
Then invented Neons to lead you there.
There’s artificial silk on the chorus girls,
There’s hairdryers for their bouncing curls,
Other bodily bits also bounce a lot,
(They invented the bra but apparently forgot).

They invented Roulette, to take your rent,
And probability theory to show where it went.
The Metric system is a gift that lingers,
A boon to people with just ten fingers.

The International Olympic Committee
Forbids playing Petanque, which is a pity.
Both are French in their extraction
And both have a certain back-handed action.

They invented bicycles, perhaps by chance,
And then invented the Tour du France.
To make bike wheels spin, with less wearing,
They invented the balls to go in the bearings.

Bagpipes, oboes and flintlock guns,
Crepes, who can forget the orange ones?,
Metronomes, scooters and coffee percolated,
Aqualungs, taxies and car tyres, inflated.

There are more things I could list
But I’m sure there would be some I’d miss.
So, to the French, I just say “Encore!”
“You’ve come a long way since Agincourt!”.

© 2012   J Cosmo Newbery

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  1. wow...the french have been busy...some pretty funny pairings in your words as well....the bra followed by bayonets and then the stuff...really cool write tonight...

  2. Wow, dear J Cosmo, a wonderful, amusing and informative poem. "Mon dieu", I had no idea that the French were responsible for inventing so many useful things...
    xoxoxo ♡

  3. AnonymousJuly 15, 2012

    Echo the wow! A lot of information here cunningly explique! Wonderful. The close super clever. k.

  4. And if given their way

    The didgeridoo they invented,

    They would say

  5. No-one in their right mind would claim to have invented the didgeridoo.

    But then there is that uncomfortable feeling about the merits of inventing the bagpipes.

  6. J Cosmo, I thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson here. The French were responsible for a lot more than I knew. Fascinating facts in fine form here.

  7. A really awesome, funny poem! You learn new things everyday... sometimes in the most interesting ways.

  8. That was delightful. I especially liked: "They invented the stethoscope to hear the heart
    And little black dresses to make it start."

  9. This is rich! I just love the history lesson spun with a little fun - very creative. I skipped this prompt and now I'm glad I did. I would have never come up with something this clever. Well done!

  10. nice...very, very cool...they have been inventing quite some things and a few more sprang to my mind while reading...louis pasteur for example.. love your tour through history here..the stethoscope to hear the heart and then the little black dresses to make it start..great...braille, marie curie..really like this a lot

  11. A what a rollicking history lesson! Love careful placement of facts generating touches of humour! So much fun!

  12. This is just bloody excellent! Your rhyme and meter never falter, and each stanza was a delight of information and fun.

  13. lyrical and educational =)

  14. Thanks for the lesson. I didn't know all this. A very inventive poem!

  15. Wow! I have learned so much is just a short time. Too bad all learning couldn't be that way. Very whimsy with meter and rhyme. Loved it!

  16. Your rhyming verses and informative lines made this such a fun and enjoyable read. Very well done ~

  17. A fun read with new trivia to me ;)

  18. AnonymousJuly 16, 2012

    You are a thinking French woman's crumpet Cosmo..very clever and witty poem.
    Ninette from Noumea.

  19. Loved the way you wrote !!!

  20. AnonymousJuly 16, 2012

    Clever. I love the rhythm!

  21. They have contributed so much to human culture and the advance of western civilization. I love the way you've pulled their contributions together and put it in rhyme. Of course, one should never forget their contribution to the American Revolution... oh, right, you're British! :)

  22. Hello.
    Visiting from the Poetry Pantry.
    I quite like baguettes and crepes. Thanks for the fun lesson & for sharing.

    My Loving Tears

  23. Well, hello there, J Cosmo Newbery: you are good! This is fabulously funny and beautifully constructed. Really loved the read of it.

  24. AnonymousJuly 21, 2012

    Clever and funny!
    Enjoyed the bra!


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