WANTED – A Good Woman

I photographed this poster prominently displayed in the forrard window of a motor cruiser moored at the mouth of a river on the east coast of Kent, England, in 2009.   For those who are unable to decipher the wording on the poster, I quote it here . . .

Must Be Able to Clean

Cook, Sew, Dig Worms
and Clean Fish
Must Have Boat 
and Motor


The, presumably tongue-in-cheek, audacity prompted me to write the verses below ...

Wanted!  A Good Woman

Wanted! A pliant good woman
A sturdy strapping lass;
Content to be a willing wife –
One of the servile class.

Someone to meet my every need,
Allow me my own space;
Clean my house, cook. sew and dig
And do it with good grace.

My priorities must be upheld;
I need no self-willed martyr
Who’ll bicker and demand a fee
Each time I tweak her garter.

A bit of brass, willing to share,
That would not go amiss;
I’d give you pocket money too
And from time to time a kiss

A woman’s lot is never done
I know that’s what they say,
But after all is said and done
It’ll be worth it for the pay.

You’ll get a home with bed and board,
With a kind, considerate master.
What else in life could a lady ask
When all else now has passed her?

And so to sum up my request,
I need a loving spouse
A soul-mate made to serve my needs,
And good about the house.

Someone to moderate my charms,
To make me less unfeeling …

… I don’t know why but no one yet
Has found my job appealing.

‘Résumé’ by Dorothy Parker

[  # 78 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Dorothy Parker

From: Wikipedia

Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967) was an American poet, writer, critic, and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks and eye for 20th-century urban foibles.

From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in publications such as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table.  Following the breakup of the circle, Parker travelled to Hollywood to pursue screen-writing.  Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, were curtailed when her involvement in left-wing politics led to a place on the Hollywood blacklist.

Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a “wise-cracker.” Nevertheless, both her literary output and reputation for sharp wit have endured.


Razors pain you;

Rivers are damp;

Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.

Guns aren’t lawful;

Nooses give;

Gas smells awful;

You might as well live.


Dorothy Parker 


[  From: ‘The Funny Side – 101 Humorous Poems’
– edited and with an introduction by Wendy Cope ]

There is intense irony as well as a bitingly black humour  in this short poem, which essentially lists some of the different ways of putting an end to an unhappy life.  The title, as well as the sudden, perhaps unexpected,  last line of the poem, however, gives the poem an up-beat conclusion.  It is a very clever ending, being both blasé and yet pointed at the same time.  The suggestion is that an unsatisfactory past, which reads like a death-wish CV, does not have to end with acceptance of the idea of suicide.  It is possible to move forward into a more positive future when the disadvantages of taking one’s own life are counteracted by more positive thoughts.