Radiolatry

1  The worst of all idolators
3Who wreck the peace of erstwhile happy homes
7  Their eyes devoutly glistening,
8  They'll sit for ages listening
9With clumsy rubber muffs upon their ears,
11  Of far-away discordancies
13  They'll stand for prosy summaries
14  And monologues and mummeries
15Of folks you couldn't wheedle them to see,
16  The rant of revolutionists
17  And awful elocutionists,
18Because they come from Newark, XYZ.
19  They'll take the driest serial
20  So long as it's aërial;
21They'll take the saddest sentimental gush
22  The ambient may squeak to them;
23  But if you dare to speak to them
24The only sound you get from them is, "Shush!"
26  There's no escape from Radio!
27Then, since you cannot dodge the atmosphere,
28  My songs shall cheer or trouble you
30Because, at least, I'd rather talk than hear!
                          EPILOGUE
(With the kind assistance of Mr. Longfellow.)
31        I breathed a song into the air;
32        That little song of beauty rare
33        Is flying still, for all I know,
34        Around the world by Radio.

Notes

2] radiolaters: invented term. Back to Line
4] variometers: what tunes the radio to a frequency. Back to Line
5] galvanometers: device for measuring the direction and intensity of an electrical current. Back to Line
6] ohms: unit measuring electrical resistance. Back to Line
10] mordancies: sharp, biting (sounds). Back to Line
12] music of the spheres: in Ptolomaic astronomy, the planets (or fixed stars) were thought to make music, in worshipping God, by their circular motions. Back to Line
25] Nome: in Alaska. Lafcadio: an invented placename, after Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), a westerner who taught in Japan and wrote about the country. Back to Line
29] PKW: a type of radio aerial, here used for the letters that identify a radio station. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
Guiterman, Arthur, The Light Guitar (New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1923): 139-140.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire