I have been missing for a while now, but I have good reason to be. I was busy reading the rest of the Twilight series and I have a LOT to say. But more(much much more) on that in another post. Today’s poem is by Ogden Nash and is called This is going to hurt just a little bit. It is about the poet’s view on visiting a dentist. Why do I like this poem enough to post it here? Well, for starters, it is well written and clear. I like the fact that the lines are so simple and normal, yet it conveys the fear and disgust of the poet well. (It could well have been the husband narrating the poem, and it would still convey the same feelings, thanks to his thousands of dental appointments).
This was the time in school when my classmates were all getting dental braces and had only horror stories to narrate. I needed one too, thanks to my crooked front tooth, and I held out as much as I could against it, and was almost going to give up to my mom’s earnest appeals to see a dentist. (somewhere deep down she was worried my worth in the marriage market might dwindle thanks to my not so perfect teeth….hehe). Then when I read this poem the day we got new textbooks, I decided firmly that I was NOT going to let a dentist bore into my teeth EVER AGAIN! I had learnt a nice word – vicious circle, and I used it as an armor and told my dad I don’t want to get into that vicious circle of seeing the dentist to keep my teeth perfect so I won’t have to see a dentist etc, and he bought it! And I have crooked teeth till today and am still contemplating getting an adults’ dental brace(but cosmetic dental work costs a bomb!) For now, enjoy the poem!
This is going to hurt just a little bit
One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.
And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopen.
Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,
But the one that is both is dental.
It is hard to be self-possessed
With your jaw digging into your chest.
So hard to retain your calm
When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or some other important line in your palm;
So hard to give your usual effect of cheery benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity.
And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on.
And it is all cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam rollers and there isn’t a nerve in your head that you aren’t being irked on.
Oh, some people are unfortunate enough to be strung up by thumbs.
And others have things done to their gums,
And your teeth are supposed to be being polished,
But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.
And the circumstance that adds most to your terror
Is that it’s all done with a mirror,
Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,
But all the same how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other he won’t get mixed up, the way you do when you try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa?
And then at last he says That will be all; but it isn’t because he then coats your mouth from cellar to roof
With something that I suspect is generally used to put a shine on a horse’s hoof.
And you totter to your feet and think. Well it’s all over now and afterall it was only this once.
And he says come back in three monce.
And this, O Fate, is I think the most vicious circle that thou ever sentest,
That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition
when the chief reason he wants his teeth in good condition
is so that he won’t have to go to the dentist.
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