On June 13th, 1919, my great-grandma received a gift – “The Girl Graduate – Her Own Book”. It was a scrapbook for the modern young lady, and my very favorite treasure when I was younger. I used to read and re-read every page, going through and touching all of the calling cards, ball gown fabric samples, and invitations that she lovingly tucked inside. I also discovered that my great-grandma Jane was a bit of a writer, so perhaps some of my own talent came from her. I rather like this idea.
Even as a kid, though, I knew that some of the stuff in here was pretty racy – especially this poem. It was oh-so-escandalosa, and I was very…precocious as a child. Sneaking peeks at my mom’s Cosmo magazines, my grandpa’s book of naughty limericks, and generally anything that seemed adult and therefore forbidden. Remember, this was written no later than 1919, so it was probably CRAZY DIRTY in those times…
If in this world there were but two
And the world was me and you
And if nobody knew
And if you dreamed of pajamas blue
And strong arms encircling you
And woke and found it all was true
And if the world was good and bright
And if I stayed with you all night
And if I turned out all the lights
If we were in a certain place
And we were sleeping face to face
And nothing between us but some lace
Based on what I know of my great-grandma, I kinda think she would have. And that makes me like her even more! In researching this poem I only found one other instance of it being published anywhere, and that was also discovered among the estate of a now-deceased woman. I have done some side jobs where I help sort through dead people’s things, so their family doesn’t have to deal with all of it. I sort it by what type it is, find documentation relevant to how the estate should be handled, box it all up, etc. I usually try to include one section of sentimental stuff that the family might like, but that’s not the point. Point is that I totally understand how KatyVA feels as she sorts through the discarded remnants of someone’s life. Her post is called “Little Know Facts About Dying“, and in her version, the poem ends with “Hell who wouldn’t”. I am further intrigued now!