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To Our Coy Colleague

Kevin Stahnke


To Our Coy Colleague
with apologies to Andrew Marvell

Had we but beer enough and wine
We’d hoot and holler, have a time.
We would sit down and drink all day,
And wash our troubled thoughts away.
Thou by the open ice chest’s side
Shouldst Guineness¹ find; I by the tide
Of wine be lifted up. I would 
Eat Camembert and other food.
And you should, if you please, refuse
To eat, and save the space for booze.
The conversations then would grow,
The Doconstuctionists² would blow,
That New Critiquers³ all should praise
Ole’ Derrida who’d shown the way!
And New Historicists4 would jest
That Fems5 and Marxists6 were all pests!
A case at least to every part
Held near and dear to professors’ hearts.
For, colleague, you deserve to sate
Your baser needs at any rate.
                        But at my back I always hear
Administration drawing near.
And yonder all before us lie
Rules so humorless, so dry,
That wine and beer shall not be found
No popping of the cork shall sound.
No sneaky profs would dare to try
That thing called “Job Security.”7
The rules are clear, Big Brother’s just.
The wine and beer will gather dust.
My home’s a fine and private place,
But “no paycheck” means “no more space.”
So while they have no amber hue,
Cokes and water will have to do,
Yes cheese and wine would be quite nice
But chips and dip must here suffice.
So let us party while we may
For waiting, always, like birds of prey
Administrators seek to collar
Every penny, every dollar,
And roll it up, the funding all,
To give to those who play with balls.8
So April Seventh, Friday night,
Bring your husband, bring you wife.9
Thus, though we’ll have no beer or wine,
With food and friends, we’ll do just fine.


This poem was written as an invitational poem for the 
Sigma Tau Delta English Extravaganza held April 7, 1995.


1 A dark Irish beer. It is thick enough to be a meal by itself.
2 A critical philosophy that can be summed up as follows: “That piece of writing isn’t what you think it is. In fact, it’s not even a piece of writing!”
3 A group of professors who have recently gained protection under the Federal Endangered Species Act.
4 “This ain’t no book! The here’s a historical document!!”
5 Dangerous, immoral, political subversives. Guaranteed to destroy Western Civilization while scaring the hell out of neophyte Gingriches.
6 More endangered than New Critics
7 Exists in rumor only.
8 Figure this one out yourself.
9 This is just for the sake of rhyme, don’t go off on me. Bring your current fling.