A new form from J. Patrick Lewis

ANNOUNCEMENT: Because this post has attracted so much interest, I’m leaving it up again today. If you would also like to contribute a couplet, scroll down to August 21 and post it there. DH

Hi everyone,

The challenge for quick couplets brought a ton of wonderful responses. Top prize goes to Jane Yolen who has sent out a plea for help with her “textually transmitted” malady. I posted a 12-step program to help her but she doesn’t much think it will work. Not that I want it to anyway. We need her!

Another stalwart contributer to the couplet fun was none other than our U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis. To take it a step further, yesterday Pat sent me an idea for the next challenge. It’s a little something he calls FIRST LINES, BOWDLERIZED. Here’s how it works. You begin with a famous line, one that is generally recognizable. For example, “Whose woods these are I think I know,” (Frost); “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan,” (Coleridge); or “The time you won your town the race,” (Housman).

Then, as Pat calls it, “It’s off to the races with nuttiness.” He supplied examples that were published in the journal, LIGHT QUARTERLY, Fall/Winter 2008. All rights belong to Pat so I’m posting these with his permission.

Whose words these are I think I know.
They’re owned by Edgar Allan Poe;
His shadow’s standing in the gloom
To watch his words fill up with woe.
***

Get the idea? Here are two more.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A second-mortgage duplex see
Through some bizarre installment plan
Devised by early sub-prime man,
Unearthed by AIG.
***
The time you won your town the race
We cheered…then slapped you in the face!
Because your speed, as never seen
Before, was methamphetamine.
***

So now you have the latest challenge. Write a FIRST LINES, BOWDLERIZED poem and share it with us. I won’t bother to say you have to do this quickly. I tried one to see how it works and it did take a while. But here it is, a takeoff on a famous poem by Omar Khayyam.

The Pickled Finger wrote; and, having writ,
Realized: Red Wine had dulled its Wit,
Nor new sobriety could change a Line,
Nor all its tears wash out a Word of it.

Ready? Set? Go!

David

159 comments on “A new form from J. Patrick Lewis

  1. Twas briling, and my slimy toes
    Did in the little tide pond wade,
    Whilst all about the crabs did go
    And of my flesh a meal they made.

    “Beware the crabs,” my mom had warned,
    “The jaws that bite, the claws that pinch.
    Beware the tide pools where they live
    For they will eat you, inch by inch.”

    And pinch by pinch and inch by inch.
    And through and through that very day,
    They tore me into little bits
    Though I tried hard to get away.

    They brought me to their mathom hall
    And strung me up with chitinous chains.
    Still bits of me did get away
    And clogged up all the city’s drains.

    And every time it rains, my bits
    Rattle in the under-town
    And revel in the fact that they
    Were all of me that went to ground.

    –Jane Yolen says that J. Patrick Lewis
    is an evil man and forced me to write this,
    which means Rev Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll
    will never speak to me should we meet in Heaven
    (if there is a Heaven and should we two actually
    be lucky enough to get there.)

    • Jane, this is brilliant. It is questionable if the good Rev. Dodgson would talk to you anyway. I understand that the dear man, a mathematician, had a terrible problem stuttering and this poem was written as an oral exercise to help him over some of the difficult sounds he had trouble having his mouth make. It was also why he practiced telling oral stories to young children. Since he couldn’t be married and keep his job, he had no children and borrowed the children of the head master at Christ Church College.

  2. Ah, Jane, if the good Rev passes you without speaking, cross it off to jealousy and go sit with Pat. Thanks for getting us off to a glorious start today!

    David

  3. Hi David,
    This cannot hold a candle to Jane, but here goes. Apologies to THE RAVEN.

    Once upon a midnight dreary
    Old man pondered weak and teary
    His mind, alive with youthful theory
    With the Sunrise, left him cheery.

    Cory

    • Hip hip hooray for Cory! Way to set the pace. Between you and Pat we’ve done old man Poe up right! Thanks for jumping in!

      Who’ll be next?

      David

  4. And therein lies the rub…
    Within the tub
    Cause down the drain
    Go joy and pain
    The merry team descend.

    I wonder where
    Below the air
    My skin cells flow
    I cannot know
    Their end!

    They flow and plant
    The seeds to ants
    Sprouting roots
    Under boots
    ‘Til seedlings grow again.

    I think exists that which I see
    when in fact invisibility
    is real as me!

    Thank you Shakespeare!
    Jeanne Poland

    • Jeanne, I’m sorry to be away for these past few days but this afternoon I’ve read and enjoyed all these delightful efforts. Thanks for being a part of it!

      David

  5. This is all I’ve got, in draft:

    TO THE SAILORS, TO MAKE MUCH OF LIMES

    GATHER ye mollusks while ye may,
    Old Crust is off and sailing:
    And this same sailor that sings today
    Tomorrow will be paling.

    The wondrous power of citrus, the lime—
    The god of Vitamin C—
    Stands ‘twixt him and his waning prime…
    (Nearer my god to thee.)

    ‘Tis time to seize the plumpest fruit,
    While youthful vigor reigns;
    Before the fever, nasty brute,
    Makes oatmeal out of brains.

    So be not stupid, but slice those limes
    Lest your health be topsy-turvy:
    Eat key lime pie a hundred times
    Or you may die of scurvy.

    –by Renee, after Robert Herrick

  6. Give Me Your Tired …

    Give me your tired views,

    Your unsubstantiated truths,

    Your relative significance.

    Give me your subjective sight

    Your perspectives in the light

    Your points have dominance!

    I think……………. you see.

    And we prevail: we’re worthy!

    Together, brings us confidence!

    Not proof or opinion or estimation

    No prevailing evaluation;

    But belief held in benevolence.

    We two… we understand each other!

    Jeanne Poland

  7. Sonnet 43 ½

    How do I love me? Let me count the ways.
    I love me from my head to toes, from ear to ear,
    from rump to nose. I love me in the afternoon,
    I love me in the evening gloom. I love me freely,
    purely, surely—but most of all—oh, so demurely.

  8. You people! I can’ even go trim shrubs and leave you alone for two hours. Bravo to this growing crop of wonders by all you word wizards out there. Keep them coming!

    Off to another meeting. Sigh.

    David

  9. Blogger! Blogger! burning bright
    In your basement up all night,
    What intense sililoquy
    Could claim thy fearful Mac, PC?

    In what Cloud or internet
    Will you eager readers get?
    What choice views will you espouse?
    What the hand, dare seize the mouse?

    (Abundant apologies to Mr. Blake and his Tyger….)

  10. Here’s another before bed:
    ****

    Consommé

    Parsley pains me;
    tomato paste smears;
    egg yolk stains me;
    and onions cause tears.
    Garlic is sticky;
    beef, I can’t carve;
    leeks are icky;
    I might as well starve.

    –by Renee, after my pal Dorothy Parker (“Resumé”)

  11. For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
    Sweetly beam as twin orbs of Gaia,
    Will he find her in time or therein seduce with lies
    Upon the trumpeters snare her call is dearer
    ‘Tis music clear and loud that holds his measure
    Inclined a troubadour or knightly threat
    She can hold his heart as eternal treasure
    The harmony – the tones! Do not duet
    Unless compelled aloft to boast melodic favor
    For song is jubilant but love is fraught
    Hymn and notes might undo without harsh labor
    If only she could transcend his lines of thought
    Transcribed upon the olive branch she’s now hearing
    Ears dainty and eyes affixed to hear anew
    A symbol and phrases oft spoken those endearing
    Of composers eloquent waltz or lullaby subdue
    In notes and lyrics naturally complying
    Like Nina Simone’s In The Morning, Oo!
    Still a valid form to entice — Lyrical Rhyming!
    You will not hear the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

    –Annalisa, after Edgar Allan Poe’s A Valentine

    • Dear Annalisa,
      I am impressed by the quality of these responses to my invitation. Thank you for working on such a complicated poem and doing it justice. Poe can rest comfortably.

      David

  12. To Autumn
    (with apologies to John Keats)
    By Steven Withrow

    Season of tests and yellow schoolbuses!
    Facebook friend of the smartphoning sun;
    Conspiring with him to download and text
    Such fruitless lines that round the weblinks run;
    To send joke e-mails to WiFi-ed PCs,
    And fill all screens with blankness to the core;
    To spell all words in caps and LOLs
    On LiveJournal; to try blogging more,
    And still more; later hours, worker-bees,
    Their multiplayer games will never cease,
    For Torpor has understim’d their neural cells.

    –Original is here: http://www.potw.org/archive/potw279.html

  13. And one from me:

    Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
    (Bowlderized by Vikram Madan)

    Whose woods these are I do not know
    The bank foreclosed them long ago
    My Ponzi scheme is in arrears
    I’m out on bail and laying low

    My little website had no peer
    The suckers came from far and near
    “Buy bits of woods and quickly make
    The largest returns of the year!”

    The more I paid the more I raked
    But my success was my mistake
    I couldn’t help but stop and weep
    When Feds denounced me as a flake

    My trial is lonely, dark and deep
    But I have skeletons to keep
    And files to shred before I sleep
    And files to shred before I sleep
    —-
    Robert Frost’s original can be found here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171621

  14. One more before I call it a night (over here on the West coast). I think I’m stuck on Mr. Frost today. This one, based on The Road Not Taken, was a fun poem to produce in that I made the most minimal number of changes to the original poem (the third stanza is entirely untouched).
    (Note: The title is an important part of this poem)

    The Ogre’s Meal
    Parody by Vikram Madan

    Two toads emerged in a yellow wood
    And sorry I could not gobble both
    And be one gobbler, long I stood
    And looked in one as far as I could
    And smelled it’s scent in the undergrowth

    Then took the other, as just as scowled
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was warty and smelled more foul
    Though as for that the passing fowl
    Had fouled them really about the same

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black
    Oh, I kept the first for another day
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way
    I doubted if I should ever come back

    I shall be telling this with a cuss
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two toads emerged in a wood, and thus –
    I took the one more odorous
    And that has made all the flatulence.
    —–
    The original poem is here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173536

  15. Oh Vikram–I was eagerly reading along and marveling at your brilliance and found myself howling with laughter at the last line. (Does that make me a coarse and awful person?)

    Jane

    • HA! That last line is priceless, though I do also love your foul/fowl play. Bravo, Vikram! We haven’t met, but I just looked at your blog. What a noble task you’ve set for yourself with 1000 poems! Please add your links to Poetry Friday each week so we can all enjoy your work. 🙂

      • Thanks, Renee! I definitely plan to be adding my links to Poetry Friday. I started writing poetry again this summer (after a hiatus of many years doing ‘other things’)(like, cough, cough, making a living 🙂 ) and was excited to discover all the poetry-related activity happening online. I’m really glad I stumbled on David’s blog 2 weeks ago – this is quite the happening place 🙂 .

  16. Oh my, this little imitation elicited an excellent response. Kudos to David for allowing me to purloin his blog momentarily and to everyone who joined the party. By the way, I’ve given a name to the form: PARROT-Y (or, PARROTY?) And I have a children’s book under contract of Parrot-ies, due out in 2014. The three of mine quoted above won’t be in it, of course. Too adult.

    • Good morning, Pat,

      Thanks for the kudos and for the challenge that has prompted so many delightful Parrot-ies. I wish I could add another one or two so I selfishly left this going today too. I need to be away nearly all day but hope to find a bit of time late in the afternoon. If not, I’ll just go on loving it all from the sidelines.

      David

  17. Good morning everyone! Wow! Went to bed last night with 24 poems posted, got on line this morn to find 43! Your muses are BRILLIANT!

    I incorporated the FOUND poem (using the abundant crop of couplets) with J.P. Lewis’ new form. Hoping you don’t mind, here goes- My SILLY Muse

    “The time has come, David,” she said
    “To couplet many ‘thinks’:
    Of lines—and Brits—and love of queues –
    Of bartenders—and—drinks-
    Why pick up lines–hot- they are not-
    And whether rhymes be silly-quicks.”

    • Oooops! For such a short poem, so many THANKS.

      Lewis Carroll, David Harrison, Renee Latulippe, Jane Yolen, Don Barrett, and J.P. Lewis- I thank you.

    • Cory, reading all these treasures from top to bottom has kept me happily engaged for quite a while this afternoon. I’m sorry that I missed out most of Saturday and Sunday but I’m glad to see still more good work pouring in!

      David

  18. Well, Cory got to “The Raven” first, but here’s my opening verse:

    Once upon a midnight dreary…
    Sheesh, this poem makes me weary.
    I prefer a subject cheery:
    say, the plague or hara-kiri.

  19. One more, and asking forgiveness in advance from dear EMILY (and readers):

    I heard a Flea buzz – when I tried –
    To nap in the Still Room
    Snapped my tail at the Stillness in the Hair –
    Between my Flank and Side –

    My eyes around – my prey I spied –
    And Growls were gathering firm
    For that quick Onset – when my Kingly teeth
    Be witnessed – CHOMP – in the Room –

  20. I can’t help myself. These are like truffles. Here’s another, from one of my all-time favorites…

    THE MIME OF THE ANXIOUS FOREIGNER

    Spaniards, Spaniards, everywhere
    And yo no hablo a word;
    Signing, signing in the air–
    theater of the absurd.

    The very pangs began: ¡Jesús!
    With hunger was I fraught.
    Yea, did I cry and throw myself
    upon the paella pot.

    by Renee, after Coleridge

    • Renee, I agree with Robyn. You grabbed me with your title and then held me all the way through paella pot.

      David

  21. Renee – thanks, and may I say I was hooting simply at your TITLE here – and the poem is great.

    Jane, I’m so glad you tackled that Emily poem. I tried that one first but stared at it blankly. Your version is wonderful. Re-ordering bookshelves last night, I came across TOUCH MAGIC (which you kindly signed for me in Atlanta two years ago).

  22. Avis Harley

    PIE FEVER

    I must go down to the fridge again, to the lonely apple pie,
    And all I ask is a tall fork and a knife to cut her by,
    And the apples thick, and the raisins stick, and the light crust flaking,
    And a golden brown on the pie’s face, and the pale edge breaking.

    I must go down to the fridge again, for the call of the pie I eyed
    Is a hungry call and a rumbly call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a single scoop of vanilla soft ice cream,
    On the rich pie with the flaky crust to melt in luscious stream.

    I must go down to the fridge again, to the vagrant cholesterol life,
    To the apple’s way and the pastry’s way all cut with a whetted knife.
    And all I ask is a piece of pie for this nocturnal-rover
    And a guilt-free sleep and a sweet dream when the midnight raid is over.

  23. Baby Sister

    I’m Somebody! Who are you?
    Are you – Somebody – too?
    I didn’t think so, you little frog,
    Your smell is putrid, a rotting bog.

    How dreary – to be – Nobody!
    How you wail – you loony tune —
    They coo and call you pumpkin pie.
    A better name is wrinkled prune.

  24. The Duel
    David (Eugene Field) Harrison

    Republicans and democrats
    Across the aisle in the chamber sat:
    T’was half past session, their faces were red,
    Nor one nor t’other had done what they said.
    Six-pack Joe snapped open a can
    Wondering why any of these idiots ran;
    I wasn’t there; I simply relate
    What I read about this sorry state.

    Republicans roared, “You’re destroying our nation!”
    Democrats clambered their tintinnabulation,
    The air was littered, an hour or so,
    With pomposity and bits of Poe,
    While the justices in their supreme places
    Held up their hands before their faces,
    And congress preened in self-admiration.

    (Now mind: I’m only telling you
    What Joe Six-pack declares is true!)
    Citizens everywhere looked blue
    And wailed, “Oh, dear! What shall we do?”
    But our leaders fought like a dog and a cat,
    Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
    Employing every tooth and claw
    In the awfulest way you ever saw –
    And oh! How the hot air gassed and blew!
    (Don’t fancy I exaggerate – I got my news from the state of State!)

    Post election, where the leaders had swaggered
    They found no trace of posturing braggart,
    And some folks think unto this day
    That citizens voted the scoundrels away!
    But the truth is this – and I raise a cup,
    The Do-Nothings ate each other up!
    Now what do you really think of that!
    (Joe Six-pack told me so,
    And that is how I came to know.)

  25. These all are so wonderful. Against my better judgement, here goes . . .

    COMPOST-FEVER
    (after Sea-Fever by John Masefield)

    I must go down to the compost bin,
    to the rotting peels and rind,
    and all I ask is a full pail,
    and a breeze to dump it by,
    and the pail’s splat and the flies’ swirl
    and the mulch smell a-drifting,
    and the soft squirm of the snug worm
    and my green heart a-lifting!

  26. I am on the pinnacle with the poets and their parrot’ys
    Singing “Hernando’s Hideaway.”
    Now I’m going to print out this whole gathering of the stars
    for my Poetry Group’s laughter.
    Jeanne Poland

    • Thanks, Jeanne. I hope this collection inspires many more efforts. My thanks again to Pat for getting the whole thing started.

      David

      • At last, I’m in the circle!!!!!
        Thank you for the acknowledgment!
        My print-out needed 32 pages. And now I’ll look up all the highlighted words.

        Jeanne with my 2 brand new digital hearing aids.
        The keyboard crackles!

  27. *This is Taylor McGowan though it may call me smorelover*
    I think I’ll stick with Robert Frost!
    Here goes nothing:

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    Though from what I’ve learned
    From work past tense
    The world ends not with desire
    Or even love
    Or even hate
    Or even those gone unadmired,
    But more so with the words
    “YOU’RE FIRED!”
    ~~ that one’s not very good. I’ll try again later. Good night!
    -Taylor

  28. Stopping by a Neighbor’s House at Midnight

    Whose goods these are, I think I know,
    But now they’re mine, I’ll safely stow
    Them in my trunk, and never fear
    The cops will find me with the dough.

    My girlfriend doesn’t think it’s queer
    To stop at midnight for a beer,
    Or so I said, but for her sake
    I added “Business, you wait here.”)

    She gave her head a little shake,
    And though she thought it a mistake
    She’s good when secrets she must keep,
    And neither goofy nor a flake.

    Twas but a moment, for a sweep
    Of wallet, watch—now mine to keep.
    And just next door we go to sleep.
    And just next door, we go to sleep.

    And other stupid felon tricks–from Jane Yolen

  29. This is my brain on vacation:

    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
    I see a desert forming.
    There’ll soon be naught but cactus plants,
    all thanks to global warming.

    Lilies, lilacs, daffodils–
    soon you will not see ’em.
    Make a bouquet while you may.
    Fair warning: carpe diem!

  30. Ode to Joyce Kilmer

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem as lovely as a tree-
    They named a rest stop after me.

    (there’s a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike named after Joyce Kilmer

  31. I dedicate this to 14-year-old boys everywhere
    and their nimble-footed dates who dodge them.

    Wordsworth as a Boy

    I floundered awkward as a clod
    Stumbling on my partner’s feet
    When all at once I saw her nod
    Encouragement that from defeat
    I might dance yet beneath the trees,
    Twirling my partner in the breeze.

    The waves beside us danced; but I,
    Expertly guiding — one-two-three —
    Heard my date’s contented sigh
    And knew the night belonged to me:
    I missed her toes, and smiling, thought
    What wealth a little practice brought.

    Now oft, when in my bed I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon my inward eye,
    Reward me in my solitude:
    Then my heart with pleasure fills:
    My freshman dance, my boyhood thrills.

      • Thank you, Renee,

        How well I remember those dance lessons with Mrs. Walker. She was heavy breasted and I could feel “them” against my chest. I prayed that my face wouldn’t betray my exquisite discomfort. I returned for more lessons.

        David

  32. Once again, late to the party. My apologies to Christopher Marlowe

    The Passionate Stallion to his Mare
    By B.J. Lee

    Come live with me and be my mare
    And we will every pleasure share.
    I’ll save my treats and give you all
    The apples when they start to fall.

    And we will graze in glorious grass
    And I’ll not let a moment pass
    When I am not as close to you
    As I can be through chomp and chew.

    We’ll share the stable past Duck’s pond
    And there we’ll strengthen our deep bond.
    I’ll give you first dibs on the hay
    And I will never say thee neigh.

    So if this life seems good to you,
    Then bid your former life adieu.
    And if you feel love in the air
    Come live with me and be my mare.

  33. YES, B.J.! Now, I remember.
    That was the summer of my introduction to David’s blog and FOUND poems captured my muse. I had SO much fun. You had many entries too and wonderful haikus. I intend to go back in time and reread them all. Thanks for the reminder.
    Like David and Jane, I too, prefer your version, partly because horses hold a special place in my heart and mainly because it is GREAT!

  34. KEEPING THINGS HOLY

    with apologies to Mark Strand
    and his “Keeping Things Whole”

    In a church
    I am the absence
    of church.

    This is
    always
    the case.

    Wherever I am
    I am
    what is missing.

    When I walk
    I part
    the sacred air

    and always
    the blessed air
    moves in

    to fill
    the spaces
    where my body’s been.

    We all
    have reasons
    for moving.

    I move
    to keep things
    holy.

    ©Charles Ghigna

    • Thank you, Charles! I’ve been hoping to see something come up from you and you, of course, didn’t disappoint. Many thanks for joining the fun.

      David

  35. Thank you, Charles, for this beautiful poem. And thanks for introducing me to a whole new world via Mark Strand.

    Cory

  36. Robert E. Lee
    (Original Annabel Lee By Edgar Allan Poe)

    It was many and many a year ago,
    In a fight with he and me,
    That a general there fought whom you may know
    By the name of Robert E. Lee.
    And this general was taught to have no other thought
    Than to conquer the Union Army.

    I was a general. He was a general,
    In this fight with he and me,
    But we fought with a fight that was more than a fight—
    I and my Robert E. Lee—
    My name is Ulysses and they were such sissies–
    We beat his pansy army!

    Original http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174151

    • Hi Ken,

      Annabel Lee never had so much fun. Thanks for providing your own special brand of tongue-in-cheekness.

      David

  37. Oh, Ken! Brilliant. I especially like the last two lines.Well done!

    Alas, I myself tried, It was many and many a night ago, but my muse took a holiday, along with Annabel Lee.

    Cory

  38. [Warning: some may find this a bit macabre! 🙂 ]

    Charge of the Night Brigade
    By Vikram Madan (with apologies to Lord Alfred Tennyson)
    I.
    Half a leg, half a leg
    Half a leg onward,
    All in the alley of Death
      Shuffled six hundred.
    Zombies, the night pervade
    “Brains!” were the words unsaid.
    Into the alley of Death
      Shuffled six hundred.
    II.
    Zombies, the night pervade
    Was there a man dismayed?
    Wherefrom they came anew
      No one had wondered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs just to eat an eye.
    Into the alley of Death
      Shuffled six hundred.
    III.
    Human to right of them,
    Human to left of them,
    Human in front of them
      Panicked and blundered;
    Stormed at with shoe and shell,
    Coldly they flowed and fell,
    Carrying their jaws of Death,
    Carrying their mouths of hell
      Shuffled six hundred.
    IV.
    Flashed all their tibias bare,
    Moaned as they clawed the air,
    Chasing the humans there,
    Mindlessly swarming, while
      The whole world sundered.
    Pounding on pine and oak
    Right through the doors they broke;
    Redneck and Yuppie
    Reeled from each horrid-stroke
      Splattered, fell under.
    Then they flowed back, but not,
      Not the six hundred.
    V.
    Human to right of them,
    Human to left of them,
    Human behind them,
      Infected and plundered;
    Tainted with zombie spell,
    Rose now, who once had fell,
    They that had fed so well
    Carried their jaws of Death
    Carried infectious hell,
    Now there were more of them,
      More than six hundred.
    VI.
    When can their hunger fade?
    When ends their dark parade?
      None left to wonder.
    Fear now the charge they made!
    Fear that undead brigade,
      Hundreds and hundreds
      And hundreds and hundreds
      And hundreds and hundreds
      And hundreds…
    ***
    [The original poem can be found here]

  39. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Three Poem Parrot-ies after Herrick, Parker, and Coleridge

  40. That Kind of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold
    From William Shakespeare to his editor

    Long I slaved oe’r words you now behold,
    Where participles dangled, none doth hang,
    Set upon each line with pen made bold
    By promises I thought your letter sang;
    In me thou see’st an earnest bard laid low
    As I behold through grief-rimmed eyes your note
    As from a deathbed room perfumed by woe,
    Thou didn’st care for any word I wrote;
    In me thou see’st the glowing of desire,
    Though on the ashes of defeat I lie,
    That on the morrow, purified by ire,
    I’ll rise, consumed by that which makes me try
    To pen what thou perceiv’st as sweet and strong
    Which you’ll love well and beg from me ere long.

      • Tendril: A Comment

        A loop de loop, A turntable thrill, The softest screw, A dentist drill, A twist of paper, Or ribbon or twill, A mess of tress, Worn as you will, Then 1, 2, 3. . .7-8-9 Tendrill.

        ©2012 Jane Yolen, all rights reserved

      • Thank you, Renee. “That Time of Year . . . ” has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare sonnets. For some reason, this time it made me worry about poor Will’s feelings if he were spurned by some heartless editor!

        David

  41. I’m gobsmacked at the many and truly wonderful, brilliant responses to my bowdlerized form. A methuselah of a toast to one and all! But I’m feeling more than a little guilty about my part in having hijacked our generous host’s blog. I suspect David wants to move on to more of his own ingenious creations. And I thank him profoooosely for inviting us in.

    • Dear Pat,
      Gobsmacked sums it up pretty well. You’ve let loose an abundance of enthusiastic and remarkable responses to your challenge. I’ve had a fine time and quite obviously many others have too.

      The door is still open for those who have meant to contribute their own pearls but haven’t had time. I suspect that we’ll have numerous readers of this post for a long time to come.

      All the best,
      David

    • I’m smiling, Charles. Thanks for taking the idea a step further: Famous people at earlier times in their lives. Hmm?

      David

  42. Pingback: Poetry Monday: "Cookie" by David L. Harrison | Renee LaTulippe - No Water River

  43. Pingback: Legwarmers « By Annalisa Hall

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