Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Is Going To Hurt Just A Little Bit

Have not been in a very blogging mood for the past few weeks.
Today I somehow came across this poem that I had in class 7th English by Ogden Nash. It brought back memories of a lot of favorite poems and stories that we had in school.
So I have decided to write a series of posts with those select favorites.

Starting with the poem I came across today. "This is going to hurt just a littile bit".
The poem very humorously describes a guy sitting in the dentist's chair, and the agony he has to endure.

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.

PS: I have copied the poem from someone else's blog in good faith. Let me know if there are any copyright issues.


  1. This is awesome!!

    Did you know that I'd been thinking of reading this very poem for the past 2 months. Because my English teacher, in 7th standard, told me about this brilliant poet who had a tendency to exaggerate things a bit . And she referred to this very poem that you've published right here .

    Well, now you know !:))

    Thanks so much arps. And tell you what, you must read more of ogden nash - he's absolutely unpredictable sometimes !!

    And of course, welcome back to blogger !!

  2. I remember reading this in school too. How I used to hate poems at that time, 'coz I never understood them. Now that I do understand them better, ..... :|

  3. @Pi: Oh man oh!! Thanks mate for the welcome. (You know I have this tendency to keep disappearing off the face of the blog world time and again, so it won't be very prudent to welcome me everytime I make a :D)

    And wow.. it feels good to know that someone else too has the same interests! I initially didn't understand this poem much, but after having the class on it, grew to love it-for the sheer graphicness of the visual painted!

    Thanks again for dropping by.. :D

    @Ritu: Don't worry. Have a short story coming up next. No, not an original (doh!), but one that I used to love as a kid.


  4. Heyy .... know what ..slightly strange.. but i was kind of in that kinda-low spirit in the past 2-3 days and the line that kept flashing thru my mind was (given the background of the story in my mind)..."This is going to hurt just a little bit" :P ..what i coincidence! .. i wud have evn put it up on my status .. when i walked in on ur blog! ..similar thing happened with shilpi..
    On my way back home..the song "Ain't no sunshine" ..played in my mind..and i ws thinking of putting that up, as well..when i logged in, to see Shilpi's status- that very tagline :)

    Weird day :D
    Exaggerating stuff. Ogden Nash eh... sounds like me.. :P but i never did like this poem much ( but DO remember it fondly only coz i have vivid recollection of USha Ma'am doing this with us .. Aw .. :-) ) I rem. learning the term "vicious circle" for the first time, and having made my notation in pencil... :D


  5. Hellooo I just came across your blog and I like it alot! I've just quoted you on my own blog.. the part of preexam stress..hope you don't mind =)

    Take Care / Mimi

  6. long lost arps! still searching...

  7. guess wat de dentist ...sumtymes r like tat... ppl need to exxagerate a lil bit to understand.....n dis is perfect.......

  8. @shruti: that's what they call 'telepathy' i guess..
    and so apparently we all think alike-- i know i learnt the term 'vicious circle' from this poem :D

    @mimi: wow, thanks.. :)

    @elroy: good to meet you too.

    @manjit: huh..?

    @nidhin: luckily i never had a serious encounter with a dentist..! *phew*

  9. good one! this poem is also one of my favs!

    there is another one on daffodils by william sure it too is in the queue to fig here on ur blog:)


  10. I have a dentist's appointment tomorrow morning and I just remembered this poem from 7th/8th Grade. Thanks so much for posting this.



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