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His canon is, in fact, an eclectically erudite one. "The Menage" draws from a dictionary:

    ... baby's breath, 'a tall herb

bearing numerous small,

                        fragrant white flowers.'


from Chaucer:

'What makes you so fresh,

                                        my Wife of Bath'?

What makes you so silly,

                                        o bright hen?'


and from nursery rhymes:

‘That’s for you to find out,

                                        old shoe, old shoe.

That's for you to find out,

                                        if you can.'

"The Menage" begins with a consideration of jonquils in a glass; the poet is interrupted by a familiar voice which "broke into the wood" and a mock-pastoral conversation between the lovers ensues. Rakosi deals wittily with the natural background which the first part of the poem has provided:

                    (a mock chase and capture).

'Commit her

                    into jonquils custody.

She'll see a phallus

                                in the pistil.

Let her work it off there.'


And the poem ends:

            as real pastorals in time must,

in bed, with the great

                                    eye of man, rolling.