The Center for Hellenic Studies

Philology

Lizzie Nagy
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of this headline.
And do it quickly please, I’m past Lenny’s deadline.
With apologies, and without much skill,
An ode to my father-in-law, F-I-L, or Phil.
I love bumping into him, always hope he’ll cross my path,
How many does he cheer each day? Just do the math!
By some luck, a Hermaion, (mine, not his),
A street encounter, (with a Star pop quiz!):
“Why hello, my sweet!” he never fails with such delight.
From the doldrums, my heart rises like a kite.
Save for his son, I know no one so sincere
In their greetings, interactions with kingling or cashier.
It’s the definition of a gentleman, and something so innate.
He kisses me farewell; he’s running very late
For a flight in just six hours—he must hurry to the gate!
(This is, as I have come to learn, a heritable trait).
Around him, one’s head blooms.
Tender gardener; it often storms, but he resumes.
Or perhaps, one’s head cracks—
Out leaps Greg, fully formed, in white shirt, khaki slacks.
Sometimes I worry about his favorite fears,
Posture, politics, calamities, and everyone’s careers.
But, to save the day, there’s always Doktor Bacsi.
And in real life, I recommend Boszormenyi-Nagy Laci.
His is a life well-lived, but if there’s one thing to revise:
Dear Phil, forego the fruit, it’s okay to order fries!
And now, among so many others, I’ll join the clarion—
Happy Birthday, I love you—to this great Hungarian!