Directions to the Armorer

I came across this poem in my diary that I copied almost ten years ago from a Jean Shepherd program recorded probably in the 1960s.  Thanks to Google, I was able to track down the original published in The New Yorker.

What a great poem.

Directions to the Armorer

Elder Olson
(From The New Yorker, 11/14/59, as read by Jean Shepherd)

All right, armorer,
Make me a sword—
Not too sharp,
A bit hard to draw,
And of cardboard, preferably.
On second thought, stick
An eraser on the handle.
Somehow I always
Clobber the wrong guy.

Make me a shield with
Insignia. I’m often
A little vague
As to which side I’m on,
What battle I’m in.
And listen, make it
A trifle flimsy,
Not too hard to pierce.
I’m not absolutely sure
I want to win.

Make the armor itself
As tough as possible,
But on a reverse
Principle: Don’t
Worry about its
Saving my hide;
Just fix it to give me
Some sort of protection–
Any sort of protection—
From a possible enemy


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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