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September 01st 2008 print

Philippa Martyr

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Luscious blonde Renaissance woman seeks Medici-style male human
(Or alternatively, single man with time upon his hands)
For the joys of conversation; food and drink; denunciation
Of the follies of the age and of all major sporting brands.

Should I mention the attraction of a little fresh attention
From a lady who can spell “phenomenon” without a qualm?
I can wow a group of fogies with a discourse on the Logies
And have torn in half a copy of The Little Book of Calm.

Otherwise I am all mildness; I am unwed and quite childless
And I’ve made my way alone, well used to living on my wits.
Though by God with bounties showered, I’m afraid I am undowered
Save for brains and natural cunning and a decent set of secondary sexual characteristics.

You’re articulate and well-read; you don’t have to be a breadhead
And I’m used to men who simply don’t put down the toilet lid.
With things cultural I’m au courant; I look good in Yves St Laurent
(Which I buy from second-hand shops for a princely seven quid).

Naturally a lady splendid such as me has sometimes tended
To stray off the beaten track, but I am nearly thirty-nine.
And my family is numerous; they are loud and fat and humorous—
I’m afraid you’re stuck with all of them; I’m sure you’ll get on fine.

I’ve a soft spot for agnostics, specially those who do acrostics—
None for those who call the clergyman a pilot of the sky—
I have faith with which to back this, for I’m Catholic and I practise
But I haven’t got it right yet. Nonetheless, I like to try.

You are young at heart and grounded; not a poseur, not dumbfounded
And a sense of humour, obviously, is going to be required.
Otherwise I’m not galumphing; just as long as you do something
You’re employed, or self-employed, or astronaut, or plain retired.

I have met with divers fellows with bad cases of the yellows
And a universal tendency to leave one high and dry.
And I think that this should end here, which is why I must append here:
Previous applicants for this position need not re-apply.

Philippa Martyr