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Americanisation

Gilbert Keith Chesterton 1874 (Kensington, London) – 1936 (Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire)

Britannia needs no Boulevards,
 No spaces wide and gay:
Her march was through the crooked streets
 Along the narrow way.
Nor looks she where, New York's seduction,
The Broadway leadeth to destruction.

Britannia needs no Cafes:
 If Coffee needs must be,
Its place should be the Coffee-house
 Where Johnson growled for Tea;
But who can hear that human mountain
Growl for an ice-cream soda-fountain?

She needs no Russian Theatrey
 Mere Father strangles Mother,
In scenes where all the characters
 And colours kill each other--
Her boast is freedom had by halves,
And Britons never shall be Slavs.

But if not hers the Dance of Death,
 Great Dostoievsky's dance,
And if the things most finely French
 Are better done in France--
Might not Americanisation
Be best applied to its own nation?

Ere every shop shall be a store
 And every Trade a Trust . . .
Lo, many men in many lands
 Know when their cause is just.
There will be quite a large attendance
When we Declare our Independence.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an influential English writer of the early 20th century His diverse output included journalism philosophy poetry biography Christian apologetics fantasy and detective fiction Gilbert Keith Chesterton KC*SG was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out." more…

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