Days of Cohan

Yul Brynner poster face to face with George M. Cohan statue on Duffy Square

Days of Cohan


on whom did cohan step
such that he
stands alone
in duffy square
for ever and all time

to stare at
the skinhead
fusion king
of vladavostok
jewess womb
rumanian gypsy
etc etc etc


once upon a time
the snappy
got sent
on holiday
to a rigged up
derby race

give my regards to
yankee doodle youtube
when a hundred dancers
stood in their place
no smart phones
vibrating in their pockets
making their way home
on cunning alone
virtual love
nothing but reality
avoiding all 3D
from either the school
of song
the school
of dance


Written and Posted:
Magpie Tales – Mag 99

Also posted on:

Where you were supposed to: Create a conversation between a person and his / her sub-ordinate about living in one’s shadow. I think this piece can be interpreted that way.

Photo Credit: image: Lee Friedlander, 1966.

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Magpie Tales, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. that’s when if one wanted entertainment they had to create it – it was not instant or replayed or tweeted…i thing it was called “live”…bkm

  2. This is so well written, Bat-Ami. Shows your knowledge of the characters and culture.

  3. Enjoyed this. It is sad that we have become so dependent on wireless culture.

  4. ah I think you worked wonders with the picture – enjoyed this – nicely done!

  5. When practice and acting meant work hard and follow your cues.
    Regarding the conversation I think you handled it well. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Lost arts of patience I think, everything is instant now, what ever happened to climbing the ladder of success. Enjoyed this write.

  7. ha the second half of this is tight…yeah there used to be skill involved…nice…

  8. An ode to what we have lost….talent live without rewind…

  9. Clever interpretation–I had no idea the statue was of Mr. Cohan. Second stanza is brilliant. Thank you. Thanks for your visit, too.

  10. Fine poem, I’m full of admiration.

  11. An important point excellently made. I think the talent is still out there. It’s just that producers look only for profit and not excellence.

  12. I had wondered who the statue was depicting, But as I didn’t know I couldn’t incorporate it. After reading someone who did know, I now do too. Very interesting prompt and, I’m glad I ‘got’ the intention of it right. 🙂

  13. A meeting of 2 great talents facing up to each other. Yul and Cohen unwittingly teaming up silently. They could have been lethal against others!


  14. Fantastic poem, Bat-Ami – a pointed commentary on our modern definition of entertainment and an homage to the golden days of live theatre. Well done.

  15. Well done. Wonderful contrasts. I personally just adore George M. Cohan, and loved the Cagney version. Great memories. K.

  16. Excellent contrasts! Well done

  17. What makes this piece stand out from the crowd?

    ~ The mini history lessons slipped in poetry’s guise
    ~ The socio-political commentary, honest not accusing
    ~ The interesting layout
    ~ The freshness of voice

  18. “nothing but reality
    avoiding all 3D
    from either the school
    of song
    the school
    of dance”…. Now doesn’t that say it all in a nutshell?!!! Good one

  19. It took me three reads to get it, then I did.
    I like it.

  20. Cohen and Brynner have enriched my life with their talents many times over the years: Thanks for the memories, as Bob Hope would say.

  21. This has the beat of Broadway about it..I could dance to it! They could have taught each other a thing or two…
    love the skinhead Egyptian!

  22. I enjoyed the second part a lot 🙂

  23. That last stanza is fantastic, Tammy. This line in particular resonates with me: ‘making their way home on cunning alone’ though that’s not where the poetry sits, but it’s certainly got a lot of truth in it. Great piece!

  24. Now I know who you are lol

    hey Tammy

    this is a great right

    I really enjoyed it

    from top to toe 🙂

  25. fantastic! Especially that last stanza – really strong voice

  26. Wow. You impressed me. This is really good work. What’re we doing here? We are both engineers… Who ever heard of engineers being credible poets??

  27. This was a special treat!

  28. very,very good i`m still pictureing the snappy pattering gangster sinner on vacation…

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