Eliza Rubenstein’s “I Am the Very Model of Effective Social Distancing”

Today’s poem is…a song adapted from Gilbert and Sullivan’s light-opera The Pirates of Penzance. The original is called “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General.” Note that it should be sung very fast. The adaptation is by Eliza Rubenstein. (PJB)

“I Am the Very Model of Effective Social Distancing”
by Eliza Rubenstein

I am the very model of effective social distancing!
I listen to the experts on the topic of resistance-ing;
I know that brunch and yoga class aren’t nearly as imperative
As doing what I can to change the nation’s viral narrative.
I’m very well acquainted, too, with living solitarily
And confident that everyone can do it temporarily:
Go take a walk, or ride a bike, or dig into an unread book;
Avoid the bars and restaurants and carry out, or learn to cook.
There’s lots of stuff to watch online                                                               while keeping safe from the sinus ills
(In this case, it’s far better to enjoy your Netflix MINUS chills!)
Adopt a pet, compose a ballad, write some earnest doggerel,
And help demolish Trump before our next event inaugural.
Pandemics are alarming, but they are not insurmountable
If everybody pitches in to hold ourselves accountable.
In short, please do your part to practice prudent co-existence-ing,
And be the very model of effective social distancing!

Shared with the Humanities Institute by Professor Lisa Moore, UT Department of English

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