My father gave a copy to us and we loved it. The book is dedicated “to Agnes who is Not (always) a Goop!” and all the poems have that same mischievous spirit: endorsing good manners while winking at the fun of misbehaving:
The Goops they lick their fingers,Now, the beloved toddler, not yet three, is requesting nightly readings from Goops, or “Folks,” as she calls it, laughing and trying to remember the right name. Forty years ago, my admiration, fostered by my father, was an eccentric taste for an old book of comic poems about etiquette. Now, in 2005, what does it mean? Good manners are in fact important to me, more so than I would have thought, and I love this way of teaching them. Having the book that I had makes me confident in the message; it feels less connected to the dubious morality of groups like the Moral Majority with whom I (probably) agree on table manners but disagree on most everything else. What interests me almost equally is the eccentricity. When does encouraging her to be an individual and introducing her to things that I care about move from powerful fun into willed eccentricity? Time will tell, no doubt but in the end, parenting (mine at least) continues ad hoc.
And the Goops they lick their knives;
They spill their broth on the tablecloth—
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew;
And that is why I’m glad that I
Am not a Goop—are you?