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QI Poets and Poetry

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1336019.  Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:42 pm Reply with quote

There was a young man from Japan
Whose poetry never would scan
When asked why this was
He replied "It's because
I always try to get as many syllables into the last line as I possibly can"

1336032.  Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:18 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Your version of the limerick has a couple of words stressed on the "wrong" syllable to fit the meter. That's more or less allowed in limericks, but mine was constructed so as to avoid it.

Then please take a red pen to it post haste otherwise I'll never learn!

1336045.  Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:14 pm Reply with quote

There are two instances. Stressing "his big dick" on his sounds unnatural, but if we are emphasising that it is his big dick rather someone else's then it's fine.

In the last line, we need to stress alright on the first syllable for it to scan, and we would normally stress it on the second. That's the sort of liberty that one is allowed to take in a limerick, but if you were entering a competition you'd try to avoid it.

At least, that's what I used to think until The Spectator ran a competition for poetry about Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Even though there reportedly "thousands" of entries, the prize of £1,000 was awarded to - well - Boris Johnson. I'm sure it's no more than a coincidence, but he is a former editor of The Spectator.

That first prize was given for a limerick which included two words that don't exist - even though the judge had taken to Twitter to warn against this - and which failed miserably to scan. One is forced to assume that the other entries were even worse, because I am sure that the winner wasn't selected purely on the basis of who he is. Mr Johnson's winning ode:

There was a young fellow from Ankara
Who was a terrific wankerer
Till he sowed his wild oats
With the help of a goat
But he didnít even stop to thankera

1336050.  Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:22 pm Reply with quote

*Timidly starts to dispute with teacher*

(Are the girls instructed to call you Mrs, Miss, Ms... I seem to recall you expressing strong views on these but it may have been before you started teaching).

His - yeah, sure and I was at ease with that as other male dangley bits are notoriously prone to cold.

But alright; well if you're saying 'Are you alright' then the -right part gets the emphasis but if you're saying 'Alright then' confrontationally then it's the al- bit that gets emphasised isn't it?

1336051.  Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:16 pm Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
(Are the girls instructed to call you Mrs, Miss, Ms... I seem to recall you expressing strong views on these but it may have been before you started teaching).

Girls below sixth form are asked to call me "Dr Surname". If they use "Mrs Surname" or "Ms Surname", well those are perfectly correct and I'm fine with them. (I use Mrs in private life, since my academic title is irrelevant away from school and I don't want people asking me about their medical conditions.)

I don't much care for the traditional "Miss" on its own, though. Yes, I hear it from time to time, but most of the girls do seem to know that I don't like it.

Sixth form pupils are invited to call me Suzanne. They are close enough to being adults - some of them are legally adults - that if I required "Dr Surname" then I ought to call them "Ms Surname", and I'm more of a first names sort of a person.

Celebaelin wrote:
But alright; well if you're saying 'Are you alright' then the -right part gets the emphasis but if you're saying 'Alright then' confrontationally then it's the al- bit that gets emphasised isn't it?

I don't stress it thus, but that may just be me. Mind you, The Beatles stress the first syllable throughout Here comes the sun. Is that one of the handful of Beatles songs on which George Harrison takes the vocal? So at the very least you're in decent company, and as I said earlier you are allowed to take a few liberties in song and poetry.

If I were judging a limerick competition, I'd be deducting at the most half a point for that slight liberty, and you'd be a lot closer to the prize than Boris Johnson's monstrosity.

1336053.  Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:35 am Reply with quote

Thanks suze - I feel oddly validated. If you feel like more marking there's an englyn over on the 'Hi Ku?' thread that currently feels unloved...

Would you believe I'm losing sleep over this limerick? OK, mild indigestion may be a factor and I may be occupying what would be restless hours anyway with attempts to make this limerick funnier (or at least cruder which often passes for the same thing in limericks); the fact remains however that I'm still working on it - to no avail as yet.

1337425.  Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:37 am Reply with quote

Inspired by the current direction of the One Word Story thread.

Little Bo Peep
Wondered out loud
Whether or not
Sheep could expound
Using logic and reason
On subjects diverse
From Mozart to mesons
Could the ovines converse?
At grass roots level
They were quite profound
But regarding free thinking
They failed to astound
To sum up the matter
And understand fully
The sheepís mental process
Is sadly quite woolly

: )

1337498.  Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:44 am Reply with quote

That was fun, Cele :-)

Here's a nice Thanksgiving/Christmas poem a friend sent me today.

Cranberry-Orange Relish

by John Engels

A pound of ripe cranberries, for two days
macerate in a dark rum, then do not
treat them gently, but bruise,
mash, pulp, squash
with a wooden pestle
to an abundance of juices, in fact
until the juices seem on the verge

of overswelling the bowl, then drop in
two fistsful, maybe three, of fine-
chopped orange with rind, two golden
blobs of it, and crush
it in, and then add sugar, no thin
sprinkling, but a cupful dumped
and awakened with a wooden spoon

to a thick suffusion, drench of sourness, bite of color,
then for two days let conjoin
the lonely taste of cranberry,
the joyous orange, the rum, in some
warm corner of the kitchen, until
the bowl faintly becomes
audible, a scarce wash of sound, a tiny
bubbling, and then
in a glass bowl set it out
and let it be eaten last, to offset
gravied breast and thigh
of the heavy fowl, liverish
stuffing, the effete
potato, lethargy of pumpkins

gone leaden in their crusts, let it be eaten
so that our hearts may be together overrun
with comparable sweetnesses,
tart gratitudes, until finally,
dawdling and groaning, we bear them
to the various hungerings
of our beds, lightened
of their desolations.

1337508.  Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:25 pm Reply with quote

Too exceedingly good.

<E> That's odd - I don't remember writing the above at all.

Not that there's anything wrong with the post that I know of in truth but it seems strange that I don't remember making it.

IMO it does anyway.

Last edited by Celebaelin on Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:03 pm; edited 2 times in total

1337512.  Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:44 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
That was fun, Cele :-)

I felt so.

: )

1338212.  Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:53 am Reply with quote

A little ditty I came across recently.

When I was young and full of rage,
I hated Tories to the core.
Now I'm of a gentler age
I hate the fuckers even more.

1341719.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:31 pm Reply with quote

One here I have just rediscovered, which should find at least one fan amongst this happy band.

Here dwell together still two men of note
Who never lived and so can never die
How very near they seem, yet how remote
That age before the world went all awry.

But still the game's afoot for those with ears
Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo
England is is England yet, for all our fears
Only those things the heart believes are true

A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
As night descends upon this fabled street
A lonely hansom splashes through the rain
The ghostly gas-lamps fail at twenty feet.

Here, though the world explode, these two survive
And it is always 1895.

Vincent Starrett

1341721.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:27 pm Reply with quote

Like it, although how can he suggest that those two men of note never lived. Everyone knows that they were real people, and that Conan Doyle was merely Waton's agent!

Vincent Starrett was a Canadian, and a crime fiction writer himself. He paid the bills by writing gore for pulp magazines, but he also wrote a biography of Holmes thirty years before Baring-Gould.

1341730.  Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:28 pm Reply with quote

Not bad!

1341761.  Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:43 pm Reply with quote

I like that one.


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