Metropolitan Vintage Blues (1943)


Foto F. Bottini

I am a man of a taste debonair,
Averse to rusticity, red-roofed or thatched;
For dwellings’ interiors little I care,
So long as in orderly rows they are batched.
To live in a house that is semi-detached
Is a vagabond passion I never could share.
Bloomsbury symmetry cannot be matched:
Give me the Terrace, the Crescent, the Square!

Some people seem to want gallons of air;
Some from the streets would rejoice to be snatched;
Some are addicts of the sun and its glare;
And some to a glimpse of the earth are attached.
But these from uncivilized eggs have been hatched,
And of polished urbanity aren’t aware:
To the suburbs of hell they may be all despatched:
Give me the Terrace, the Crescent, the Square!

A house on its lonesome, or two in a pair,
In spinneys and gardens informally splashed,
Is a sight that no elegant spirit can bear;
The architect planning it ought to be thrashed,
And his ribs re-arranged and his façade re-hashed,
And this should go on till he’s ready to swear:
“I’m done with all villadom – let it be smashed:
Give me the Terrace, the Crescent, the Square!”

Prince in your country-house, keep the gate latched;
There are city yahoos who would like to be there!
Guard your Arcadia green and unscratched:
Give them the Terrace, the Crescent, the Square!

Testo pubblicato anonimo col titolo Ballade of Urbanity sul numero primaverile della rivista Town and Country Planning, 1943



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