“After ZaSu Pitts, there could never be another woman in my life.”
Ode to ZaSu Pitts
With Apologies to Keats
By Oscar Wilde
THOU art unravish'd, O' Bride of Frankenstein,
Thou poster-child of Silent film and jerky fits,
Sylvia Plath, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our own ZaSu Pitts!
What story line haunts about thy shape
Of Mary Pickford, Lucille LaSeur, or of Thelma Todd?
In Tempe or the thighs that chaffe-
What men or gods are these? What maidens promenade?
What mad pursuit? What Keystone Cops to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild bootleg hooch?
Spoken words are sweet, but those unheard
Are meatier; therefore, ye lofty organs play on;
Not to the well trained ear, more implied,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of Franchot Tone:
Fair to midland, beneath the trees, thou could but choseth not to leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
What say this poet it no makes sense;
But Zasu cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and be my comupence!
Oh Doris Day! Oh Joel Crea;
Starcrossed lovers true
Both in Love on Moonlight Bay!
You kept their house and about it toiled
A maid was made of you.
But when the starring credits rolled,
Your name appeared in text so small
That few knew you, my sad ZaSu!
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
L. B. Mayer and Selznick, too;
A Priest as well, do not be a fool.
The skys were the limit and once were so blue,
And at the Oscars Judy Garland was the best dressed.
But Tinseltown still calls for you, your wit!
For new, less important roles,
Abbott and Costello they need you now
Oh where o' where is good old ZaSu Pitts!
O what a shape! and in the nude! with brede
Of rippling men and Pitts overwrought,
With forest branches and the smoking weed;
Thou, classic star! How you tease me all for naught
An eternity: Cold Fishwife!
When old age shall this generation forget,
Thou shalt remain, in the cinema their is eternal life
But for both of us, a friendship to one day renew
If Beauty is truth and truth is beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know of our dear old friend, ZaSu!