Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOW TO GET ON IN SOCIETY, by JOHN BETJEMAN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HOW TO GET ON IN SOCIETY, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Phone for the fish-knives, norman
Last Line: With afternoon tea-cake and scones.
Subject(s): Etiquette; Manners; Courtesy

Phone for the fish knives Norman,
As cook is a little unnerved;
Your kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.

Are the requisites all in the toilet?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.

It's ever so close in the lounge dear,
But the vestibule's comfy for tea,
And Howard is out riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me.

Now here is a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know what I wanted to ask you —
Is trifle sufficient for sweet?

Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones.
Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cake and scones.

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