Five Boys (1902 – 1976)*
‘Desperation, Pacification, Expectation,
Such precision in the calibration
the itemisation and nominalisation
the frame-by-frame forensic revelation
of his count-down to transfiguration
but then this was a generation
that savoured verbose explanation
relished polysyllabic proliferation
and could correctly spell accomodation
one that could defer gratification
and read the wrapper first for information
knowing lexical procrastination
at the point of mastication
giving rise to consolation
that defies articulation.
by Annie Fisher
*Five Boys was a chocolate bar made by Fry’s (later Cadbury’s). The wrapper featured five photo-portraits of the same small boy in a sailor suit displaying a range of emotions from tearful misery to the bliss of chocolate ‘realisation’. The image and five-word caption was widely advertised on postcards and enamel advertising plates, and in newspapers.
This poem was first published in Blame Montezuma, an anthology of poems about chocolate published by HappenStance Press.