Saturday, 15 March 2014

Southern Comfort

I belong to a group called "Friday Poetry", and every week someone from the group chooses a theme for the week. This week was (according to the person setting it) to be about "a Southern Belle's attitude. Southern Belles can make anything sound charming. Even going to Hell."
That was a very difficult one to get my head around, and off my regular track for poetry. I don't read any books with Southern Belles in.! I've never read Gone with the Wind, or anything like that. Possibly the closest I've read is "Bring the Jubilee" by Ward Moore, a science fiction alternative history book where the Confederate States of America win the Battle of Gettysburg and subsequently declares victory in the "War of Southron Independence".
So how to do this - well, I grabbed bits and pieces from movies, as the Hollywood movies shape a picture of the South and Southern Belles. It's Hollywood, so it is fiction, but it is the only source I could think of to write the poem.
Hence there's a bit of Gone with the Wind, the paddle boat sequence from the Danny Kaye version of Walter Mitty, Disney's Song of the South, thoughts about swamps and plantations (grabbed from Universal's Son of Dracula, of all places), and finally a bit of Clint Eastwood style Spaghetti Western and Annie Get Your Gun.
It's a fiction, and I've never come across a Southern Belle (or anyone remotely like that), but I hope it amuses.
Southern Comfort
Frankly my dear, you said to me that day
You couldn't give a damm. Well shucks!
This lady couldn't care what you may say
Advertising for a smarter man, in a fine tux
On the Mississippi, I'll find me another man
That paddle steamer, gently chuggin' along
Dressed in lacy finery, with an ivory fan
Oh, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, here I belong
Plantations, and swamps, this is my land
In the Deep South, I can take any man
I flutter my eye lashes, hold out my hand
Capture the gentlemen, those with a deep tan
Now rides in a stranger, who smokes a cheroot
I got my gun in my garter, ready to shoot

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