Ernest Hemingway was known as a great novelist and not a great poet for good reason. His novels are wonderful; his poetry is not. It is like e.e. cummings without the punctuation.
I like to imagine the following poem is fairly tongue and cheek, but one can never be sure with Hemingway. Regardless, it is amusing and worth a read. I am surprised this hasn’t been picked up in some jingoistic Ford truck commercial, presented in a way that totally negates the humor. It provides a nice contrast to David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans,” although there is an outside chance they are alluding to the same traits of Americans.
I Like Americans
I like Americans.
They are so unlike Canadians.
They do not take their policemen seriously.
They come to Montreal to drink.
Not to criticize.
They claim they won the war.
But they know at heart that they didn’t.
They have such respect for Englishmen.
They like to live abroad.
They do not brag about how they take baths.
But they take them.
Their teeth are so good.
And they wear B.V.D.’s all the year round.
I wish they didn’t brag about it.
They have the second best navy in the world.
But they never mention it.
They would like to have Henry Ford for president.
But they will not elect him.
They saw through Bill Bryan.
They have gotten tired of Billy Sunday.
Their men have such funny hair cuts.
They are hard to suck in on Europe.
They have been there once.
They produced Barney Google, Mutt and Jeff.
They do not hang lady murderers.
They put them in vaudeville.
They read the Saturday Evening Post
And believe in Santa Claus.
When they make money
They make a lot of money.
They are fine people.