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Monday, April 22, 2013

Bad Poetry???

April 22, 2013

Some years back, everybody decided that it was time to send business envelopes that opened at the bottom instead of the top. There was no grand announcement, no note of explanation – it just started happening. I remember the first time I got one from Scurrilous and Scummy, a temp agency I worked for. I thought – isn’t this like Scurrilous and Scummy to have their envelopes printed upside down.

But it wasn’t just S&S. I started getting them from everywhere. If everyone but you is in on it, does that still count as a conspiracy? Maybe it’s just an update of my getting picked for kickball experience. I knew when they picked everyone, including a sleeping cat, but me – and nobody said a word that I was the only person not in on it.

Sneaky cat – pretending to sleep and hiding his little feline snickers.

I feel that way about poetry. What is good poetry? Everybody else seems to know, but me. In grade school it was a mystery to everyone. We’d have a passage like:

Come not, when I am dead,
To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave,
To trample round my fallen head,
And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not save.
There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
But thou, go by.

All of us kids would scrunch our underdeveloped noses while the teacher would go on about how brilliant Mr. Pompous Dead Poet was. Then years later – my classmates stopped scrunching their noses and said – “yeah, cool.”

Heck! Even Robin Williams, a guy I usually understand, is in on this one. He did a whole movie about how great poetry is, and how it’s supposed to drive adolescent boys to suicide.

Did anyone else understand this? Really?

Stop saying arrested development; I think it’s mass hypnosis. We knew better in third grade, now it’s, “Oh, poetry is so beautiful, meaningful, moving… except Headley’s”

Even at Go Figure Reads – a place you’d think would be on my side at least once, they talk about Stanley's poetry. “Stanley, I was so moved about how you went to church and talk about God and stuff.” Then they talk about Will's poetry. “Will, I love your little children’s story poems about ships and ducks and baseball.”

Church, God, ships, ducks, and baseball? C’mon, what’s so hard about that? It looks pretty easy to me. So I write a couple of poems and submit them to Go Figure Reads

Nobody says a word, but I swear I heard a cat snickering.

Okay, I get it. Go Figure Reads is not going to publish my poems, but I have this blog, now. I sorted through my collection and found the one that’s not a lymric – maybe I’ll give you those later.

Sir Isaac Phishernife

Sir Isaac Phishernife

Had but one goal in life

Which was fine with his wife

She was not one for strife

Though a very small lad

He heard from his dad

There was much to be had

So he should be glad

Though he would prefer

To seek possion du jour

He put away line and lure

And to his duty made sure

As a young squire

He was urged by his sire

To seek and acquire

More knightly attire

While still a young knight

He was sent out to fight

Any monster or blight

That was fearsome of sight

When the peers did accord

To make him a lord

He gave out from his hoard

Gifts he could not afford

As an earl of the realm

Wearing buckler and helm

He did host the Duke Ghelm

Though the costs overwhelm

When a Duke he was made

To the king he was bade

And before him were laid

Tasks that made him afraid

And then he was prince

No more need to wear chintz

There were whispers and hints

He’d be king not long since

And then golden plate

They did lay on his pate

But he took hold of his fate

And said, “I abdicate!”

He declared with a jeer

I’ll not be king, duke or peer

But by stream, lake or mere

I will set down my rear

And my tasks now shall be

To lean back on a tree

And with lure, worm or bee

Try to catch two or three”

So Sir Isaac and Ma’am

Live and fish by the dam

And if no fish nearby swam?

They just bake a nice ham

So, what do you think, huh? Send me an email: