A Response to a Failed Courtship—A Humorous Poem

In google searching for something totally unrelated, I came upon a humorous poem about a failed courtship. As someone raised in this mentality, I found it familiar—and quite funny—and thought I’d share. It’s written like a letter from a girl’s prospective suitor to her father, sent after learning (from the father, of course) that the girl had rejected his suit. And weirdly, this poem was posted approvingly on the website of Scott Brown, Vision Forum ally and courtship promoter extraordinaire.

Dear Sir,

I received your recent letter
explaining quite succinctly
that my efforts and my wooing
were received as you said, “weakly”

But I’m hoping that you’ll help me
In my first courtship post-mortem
It may shed some light on women
and how we young men should court them

I’d like to know where things went wrong
And why I failed to win her,
I followed all the steps spelled out
In my Homeschool Courtship Primer

I told her about my businesses
I’ve started thirty four
(My schemes are all pyramidal)
Semper Entrepreneur!

I made sure to be mature, reserved
A calm spirit is enough
But I also pounced on every chance
For me to strut my stuff

She saw me carry eighteen chairs
During worship service set up.
She saw me in my Pilgrim Hat
and my Robert E. Lee get up.

I left my iPod in plain sight
to display my manly measure
John Owen, Washer… Veggie Tales?
Well, that’s just a guilty pleasure

She knew I’m learning Hebrew
(It’s more difficult than Klingon)
But my ‘At yafa ahuvati’
Was to weak to put the ring on

In closing, let me just express
the depth of pain I feel
Like Geneva casting Calvin out
This wound may never heal

And though Boaz is broken hearted
for a Ruth he’ll never see
I’d also like to ask you
Is your younger daughter free?

A Letter from Jesus and Living in Fear
Be Pretty, but Not Too Pretty
Nine-Year-Old Sluts and Masturbating Dinner Guests
When Marriage Looks Like the Only Escape
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • WordSpinner

    The last line is…

    My favorite part is where he admits to running a pyramid scheme.

    • AnotherOne

      Yeah, the entrepreneur part cracked me up, though there’s a painful edge to the humor. Most of the homeschooled boys I’ve known have left a trail of dead businesses as they’ve tried to make their way through young adulthood. I’ve had tunnel vision about the ill effects of fundamentalist homeschooling on girls for too long, and it’s only in the last few years that it’s really hit home to me what a dreadful burden is laid on these young men. They are given the message that their worth and manhood are dependant on being good providers, and that they are solely responsible for supporting their families, and yet they’re not given a toolkit to be providers for the wives they marry so young, and the many children they’re urged to churn out.

  • Jaimie

    Wowza. This is the type of guy these homeschooling fundamentalists are churning out? I always wondered about the level of, what sounded like poverty, some of these wives and children had to endure. Now the dots are connected.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      It depends on the community, to be honest. I grew up in an upper middle class circle where the boys were expected to go to college and have professional careers. And most of them have. But in circles where there is less money and only more children, and where education is devalued to the point of saying that so long as your children believe in God, it doesn’t matter if they ever learn algebra, this isn’t so practical. In those circles the young men are taught to be entrepreneurs, to start their own home businesses. This is why Josh Duggar was set up as a car salesmen by his dad, for instance. But as this poem satirically points out, it doesn’t always work out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1615224910 facebook-1615224910

    LOL That is hillarious.

  • Karen


  • Niemand

    Did you see the “father’s response” in the comments on the Scott Brown site? Holy FSM, that was the scariest thing I’ve read in my life! Basically the father said, “Go ahead and marry her. Sure, she didn’t like you, but who cares about that. Just make sure you make her produce a grandson, not a granddaughter.” I hope that that was also supposed to be satire, but rape jokes aren’t funny and that was just a less graphic than usual rape joke.

    • Sunny Day

      Sadly it doesn’t appear to be satire, from his facebook page “Kurt Fiech shared 31 Days of Prayer for your Husband’s status.
      May 6
      Day 7 – part 2. I pray that I will always help safeguard my husband’s heart against inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex. Lord, let me always be pure and undivided in my commitment to him always remembering it is he, not me, that has authority over my body, and I shall not deprive him of it, except by mutual agreement to abstain from coming to together only for a short while to devote ourselves to prayer. (1 Cor 7:3-5)

      “Incredibly, the biggest story of the 20th century never made headline news. Somehow we missed it. It was the mass exodus of women from the home, and the consequent decline of motherhood. For the first time in recorded history of the West, more mothers left their homes than stayed in them. By leaving the home, the experience & reality of childhood, family life & femininity were fundamentally redefined, and the results have been so bad that if this one trend is not reversed, our grandchildren may live in a world where the both the true culture of Christian family life and the historic definition of marriage are the stuff of fairy tales.””

      • Niemand

        our grandchildren may live in a world where the both the true culture of
        Christian family life and the historic definition of marriage are the
        stuff of fairy tales.

        They say that like it’s a bad thing. But it won’t be a “fairy tale”, it will be a tale of the bad old days. Sort of like we now think of stories of the southern part of the US in the early to mid 19th century.

  • Sally

    I took this to be tongue in cheek, not a serious letter. To me, it sounds like they’re poking fun at themselves and the silly things some of them (the boys) might do and think when courting.

    • Sally

      Actually, I think I stated the obvious here.

  • sylvia_rachel

    That’s *hilarious* XD.

    Somewhat relatedly, are you familiar with the blog http://badforshidduchim.wordpress.com/ ? It’s an anonymous inside look at the Haredi Jewish dating scene, and there are some descriptions of unsuccessful dates that this poem kind of reminded me of…

  • B.


  • http://twitter.com/Don_Gwinn Don_Gwinn

    The reference to the young man’s iPod brought me up short. I hadn’t caught on that this was a modern poem; I was picturing somewhere between 1890 and 1910. It makes me wonder what else I missed, not having the experience a lot of the readers and commenters here have with this kind of religiosity.