The Non-Expert

Poetry for Your Girlfriend

Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we play the eloquent Cyrano to an anonymous Christian, and script poesy for the tongue-tied.

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Question: Can you write me a love poem to give to my girlfriend, and do you mind if I say I wrote it?

Answer: Sure. But first, we must acknowledge the parallels between our situation and the one presented in Edmond Rostand’s classic play Cyrano de Bergerac. In our case, you are the handsome Christian, your girlfriend is the comely Roxane, and I am the eloquent Cyrano, the main differences being we’re not in the French army (I’m not anyway) and though Cyrano possessed a nose so big he called it a ‘peninsula,’ my nose is perfectly sized in relation to the rest of my face. In fact, with regard to all matters of physicality, I champion the merits of proportionality and anxiously hope that others who enter my locker room or boudoir possess a similar understanding.

Of course, just as Cyrano and Christian endeavored to keep their collaboration a secret from Roxane, we must take measures to ensure that your girlfriend never uncovers our conspiracy. Here’s what you should do: Purchase the same ‘Net Nanny’ software they install on computer terminals in school libraries so a young man working on a report about dinosaurs won’t accidentally encounter information regarding the radical hormonal changes of adolescence. Thus remaining ignorant, he will one day remark to Billy Hotaling, in a somewhat worried tone, about the itchy, black hairs that have suddenly appeared ‘down there.’ Billy will ask the naïve young man if he’s been bitten by a dog lately, and the young man will reply Yes, he was nipped in the ankle just yesterday by the Hartmans’ Bichon Frisé, and Billy will say Well, that explains it, you’re turning into a dog-faced boy—do you know any tricks you can perform at the circus, Dog-Faced Boy? The young man will be horrified, insisting that he doesn’t want to be a dog-faced boy but rather a fireman, and when Billy’s mom arrives home one hour later, the face of the young man will be landscaped with scratches and bruises from reluctant attempts, at Billy’s insistence, to catch a Frisbee in his mouth. When an embarrassed Mrs. Hotaling explains the truth as she drives the young man home, Billy will snicker to himself in the front seat, and by the following Monday, every boy and girl at Neil Armstrong Elementary will know the young man by the nickname ‘Pubes.’

Take the Net Nanny software and install it on your girlfriend’s computer. Should she ask why, tell her if she’s serious about the relationship, she has to stop enabling your horrible porn addiction. Later in this article I will cleverly insert a word that will be blocked by the Net Nanny. There’s no way your girlfriend will ever see this page. Brilliant!

Let’s begin. The best love poems are called ‘Sonnets.’ Many of them are so powerful they can only be referred to by a roman numeral. If an unsuspecting listener were to encounter the perfect beauty of the verse directly, he or she would immediately fall in love with the most proximate person. Shakespeare wrote CLIV of them! The American Heritage Dictionary defines a sonnet as ‘a fixed verse form of Italian origin consisting of 14 lines that are typically five-foot iambics rhyming according to a prescribed theme.’


Haikus are also popular. Haikus are three-line Oriental poems of five, seven, and five syllables, with the first line usually describing a nature scene. That leaves 12 whole syllables for us (or rather you) to tell your girlfriend why you love her:


Crickets chirp sadly
Girlfriend, it’s so nice of you
To block the porno

In the play, Christian dies in battle, Roxane enters a convent, and Cyrano is killed in a tragic falling log accident though not before realizing how badly he’s screwed things up for everybody. Girls and French people think this is romantic, but trust me, if you start reading poetry to your steady it’s going to end badly all around. Here’s a better plan. Buy tickets to an advance screening of the new Hulk movie, tell your girlfriend you want to take her to see the latest from the director of Sense and Sensibility, then try to cop a feel before she figures out what’s going on.

Seriously, it’s the best guys like us can hope for. Oh yeah, and one more thing: Fallopian tubes.

Choke on that, Net Nanny.