BULLETIN: Our year’s first four goslings made their maiden voyage on the lake this evening. They swam a few feet, safely sandwiched between their parents, and returned to safety near the shore. They hatched on our neighbor’s yard about a foot from the water.
What would Poetry Month be without a new challenge from U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis? The answer is, incomplete. With my thanks to Pat, here it is in his own words. I look forward to the fun this one will unleash.
The seventh quatrain of Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life” reads:
“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time”
Remove “great men all remind us.”
Replace it with a trochee, and rewrite the quatrain accordingly.
“Lives of husbands all remind us . . .”
Or an amphimacer: “Lives of astronauts remind us . . .”
Or a di-trochee: “Lives of auto dealers tell us . . .”
Ernest Hemingway parodied Longfellow as follows:
“Lives of football men remind us,
We can dive and kick and slug,
And departing leave behind us,
Hoof prints on another’s mug.”
Here are two of my own:
Lives of ping pong champs unnerve you:
Win the war but lose the battle.
Tables turn and life may serve you
Up a creek without a paddle.
Lives of distance runners tell us
Victory goes to the young,
Exuberant, and overzealous
Kid who has an extra lung.
Pat, I accept your “In the lives of . . .” challenge. Here are two attempts.
Lives of alley cats remind us
They will bite the feeding hand
And, departing, leave behind them
Clinkers in a box of sand.
Lives of boulders may seem boring
Yet their calling is sublime.
Where would Sisyphus be without them
Up and down the hill of time?