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A Christmas Cavil

By Seth M. Kupferberg

Since Christmases don't come but once per annum,

When shortages of oil itself don't ban 'em,

So charmed is Christmas Eve, so white its snow,

We'd celebrate with everyone we know.

But since we have no surplus left to shrink,

Our thoughts will have to serve for gifts, we think.

Presidents should take precedence, we guess.

To Horner, what she says she fears--success.

For Derek Bok, already so successful,

A bit more courage for when things get stressful.

And last, some Democrats for honest Ford--

Although his sin they envied, not abhorred.

Folks living off their unemployment pay

Deserve at least a transient holiday.

For George F. Putnam, too, a changed economy;

For J.K. Galbraith, Switzerland and bonhomie.

For Martin Kilson and for E. Guinier,

The cup of fellowship and Christmas cheer--

Fair Harvard needs a particolored sheen.

May Whitney's memory, therefore, stay green,

The Crimson red, DuBois's Center black.

May triumphs crown the basketball and track

And other squads--as when the 'Cliffe plays tennis--

Till Restic's known from Tennessee to Venice.

For Warner Berthoff, poems politic;

For Heimert, friendly chats with Moby Dick,

While Moynihan tells Save-the-Whale-like rallies:

Benign neglect's no good for starved Bengalis.

For Mayer, meatlessness so rich it's dermative;

For Walter Leonard, action that's affirmative.

For Richard Wilson, lights burnt at both ends,

For Martin Peretz, lots of famous friends.

For Slive, only the happiest pentimento,

And only early press runs for Sorrento.

For all the laureates, cynosure of eyes

(Like Watson) of the dynamiter's prize,

The best of genes, wherever they may find them.

For all the Union dead, Lowells to mind them.

For Paz and Northrop Frye, wreaths racked in rows.

Full many a laurel tree in Brooklyn grows,

But Alfred crops them all, for triumphs tragic.

Dressler cures cancer, as it were, by magic.

A high Sierra for Karefa-Smart,

For Myra Mayman, self-creating art.

Revelle and Parry each deserve clear sailing

And lots more Pulitzers descend on Bailyn.

To Robert Tonis, greetings from us all;

Windows that fit for Steven S.J. Hall.

William P. Homans moves to the Old Bailey,

And hard-nosed Irish coffee drenches Daly.

May Womack marry Mexico with Marx,

And Paul G. Bamberg find a mess of quarks,

While Wendell Furry (once upon a time

Beset by senators and such-like slime)

Achieves a rediscovery of fission.

Stanlake Samkange gets a new Commission--

And, since that group's but half a double star,

The rest of us get no more CRR.

May John P. Boles and Berryman each bag a see,

May people pack the Loeb and also Agassiz.

May GRO win votes from here to Malden,

And B.F. Skinner find a second Walden.

DeVore and Herrnstein, too (the wily foxes!)

Now SDS is gone, get Skinner's boxes.

Yet Harvard leftists thrive--students have stood enough.

Which leaves us Kifner, Marichal, and Goodenough,

Eisenberg, Wald, Schwartz, Rosenkrantz, and Woodside,

To all of whom, and more, only the good side

Of next year's luck should shine, had we our way.

To Oscar Handlin, happy New Year's Day.

Had we but world enough and time, we'd add

The zillion other folks whose names we had.

But since we haven't patience up to line 'em--

John Marquand, both the Bells, A. Arthurs, Bynum--

To all our other friends, we now apologize,

And add especially, to de-mythologize:

You may have noticed that our list, though bright

And well drawn up, is mostly male and white.

Much joy we wish, therefore, advance-admired,

To all professors who are not yet hired.

Likewise to Kearns, whose chair is full at last,

To Bowles and Art MacEwan, whom they passed,

Whitlock, and Thomson, formerly of State--

Whom, with the first, we all would gladly rate

The best and brightest star who worked for Johnson.

Salud to Companero Daniel Swanson.

Happiness to our gentle readers, too.

A year of racial peace for Pettigrew--

Which brings us back to high affairs of state.

Remember, friends, sans plans, who graduate:

They also serve who only stand and wait.

So may that comfort you, and wars all cease

From Vietnam to Palestine to Greece,

Till people fairly wallow in the peace (Which radiates, like teargas, through the air--

But it will last forever, being fair)

And last, good will toward Men and Women everywhere.

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