i found a book on a five dollar shelf in the ohio book store. stoddard king doesn’t even have a wikipedia page, though he deserves it. what the queen said and further facetious fragments, (c)1923, isn’t the best poetry, but it is better than you or i hope to do.
stoddard king, the drama in distress
five broadway plays may be closed by the district attorney.–new york theatrical item.
the country’s boasted freedom is a bubble,
was it for this our fathers beat the drum
and bore the musket with no end of trouble?
great pan is dead! true art is on the bum.
when managers spend money without stinting,
masters of stagecraft take a world of pains,
press agents keep the presses busy printing,
and playwrights add the benison of brains;
and when, at last, they fuse these various factors
in a triumphant symphony of smut,
shall cruel law deprive the needy actors
of their fine jobs, and bar the stage doors shut?
not while we intellectuals have our voices
and can denounce the censorship of shows.
we shall, by clearly stating what our choice is,
make the skunk cabbage sweeter than the rose.
you say the public yearns for more tabasco?
then let them have it, give the folks their dirt.
fear not the las, bill brady and belasco–
we will stay with you to our final shirt!