Pat’s back!

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve decided to leave this one up for a third day. We’re getting a lot of visitors to Pat Lewis’s challenge and poets are still contributing their poems to the fun. Thanks, Pat!

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted that our friend J. Patrick Lewis has just popped up with a devilishly clever new challenge, which he calls “mini-mini-book reviews.” Thank you, Pat, for giving us one that will be a challenge indeed. Let’s see what comes of this. Here’s the entire note from Pat, plus his usual helpful examples.

David, I wonder if your readers might have some fun concocting “mini-mini-book reviews.” To wit:

Moby Dick
(Herman Melville)

Man’s obsessed,
Whale is gored—
Man goes a little

* *

The Catcher in the Rye
(J.D. Salinger)

In its essence:
On society’s
By the golden-
Tongued Holden.

* *

Tarzan of the Apes
(Edgar Rice Burroughs)

A sort of
King of

Charlotte’s Web
(E.B. White)

At the fair, Wilbur (pig) wins!
Charlotte (spider) silk-spins
A reverie
So often,
Saving Wilbur
From coffin.

* *
Fahrenheit 451
(Ray Bradbury)

People read books,
Books are harmful.
Fireman cooks
Books by armful.
People leave home.
Each one learns
A novel, a poem.
Fire Chief burns.

* *

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
(Brothers Grimm, Robert Browning)

Exterminator catches pests;
The town refuses his requests.
He sets out to right the wrong
By playing on his flute a song
Exciting and inviting . . . that’s
When kids start disappearing. Rats!

* *

(Felix Salten)

Trouble’s coming
Here. Hear?
Hunters shooting—
Tearful tale of
Woe. Whoa!
End of Mother
Dear deer.

* *
I’ll go first, Pat. Here’s one effort. I’ll do others. David

Best Christmas Pageant Ever
(Barbara Robinson)

Every year, same play,
Same kids, same way.
Bullies come, loud, rough,
Hijack roles, act tough,
Unimpressed by plays past,
Shout the words to life at last.

22 comments on “Pat’s back!

  1. I have a whole book of those (called A little Michief) coming out next year from a small press. And of course some of them first appeared in Horn Book and the Poetry Friday anthology. Here are two:

    Wife Makes Monster: News At Eleven

    Poet Shelley
    Took a wife,
    Shelley’s Mary
    Made new life.

    Bits of felons
    From the scaffold,
    Pieced together.
    Critics baffled.

    Mary Shelley’s
    Dead and gone,
    But her monster
    Still lives on.

    Felix Salten, A Deer Man

    He wrote a lot that was quite deer,
    Though Disney did him in, I fear,
    Turning creatures namby-pamby,
    Dancing rabbits, weeping Bambi.

  2. Okay, I just wrote about rabbits today, so they’re on my mind! Here’s my offering:
    Dear Peter Rabbit
    as was his habit
    didn’t heed the warnings clear
    from his loving mother dear.
    He scampered off for a little bite,
    but ended in MacGregor’s sight.
    Lucky Peter, lost only shoes and coat.
    We learn from what Miss Potter wrote!

  3. In Search of Lost Time

    All the memories lodged in the brain
    Of Marcel, and there doomed to remain,
    Were suddenly loosed
    When by chance Mr. Proust
    Had a bite of that darn madeleine.

  4. Waiting for Godot

    Some people are waiting and waiting
    And waiting and waiting and waiting
    For a man named Godot
    Who we all know won’t show,
    And the audience soon finds it grating.

  5. Bargain after Bargain

    A foolish miller’s claim:
    His daughter’s skill–a wonder to behold!
    A greedy king’s demand:
    Spin the straw, convert it into gold.
    A bargain for her life:
    A chain. A ring. A future child is sold.
    A bargain for her child:
    Find the name that no one’s ever told.
    Rumplestiltskin’s fate:
    Torn asunder, raging, uncontrolled.
    –Buffy Silverman

  6. Winnie-the-Pooh
    A.A. Milne

    Sad-sack donkey,
    Hapless pig,
    Clever kangaroo,
    Rambunctious tiger –
    Charming crew,
    Supporting cast
    For a bear named Pooh.

  7. The Three Little Pigs (traditional)

    One bad wolf
    Three little pigs.
    Wolf checks out
    The three pigs’ digs.
    Each built a house-
    One straw, one sticks.
    The smartest pig
    Built a house of bricks.
    The Wolf blows down
    The house of straw,
    Eats the pig
    With a side of slaw.
    The wolf blows down
    The house of sticks,
    Eats the pig
    At half past six.
    The brick-built house
    Won’t budge one bit.
    Wolf huffs and puffs
    He has a fit.
    The pig inside
    Won’t let him in-
    Not by the hair
    Of his chinny chin chin.


  8. Pingback: Puzzling Poems | Buffy's Blog

  9. From BLACK CAT BONE by J. Patrick Lewis

    Robert Johnson
    Blues guitarist
    Making hair on your arms
    Wailing away his heartsick songs
    Taking up a deal with

    From THE SNEETCHES by Dr. Seuss.

    Those who had stars
    Thought they were better
    Until common sense
    It doesn’t matter who has what,
    Humanities beauty

    When you lie it’s rude
    Then your nose will p r o t r u d e.

    (c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

  10. Wizard of Oz
    L. Frank Baum

    Brave girl from Kansas plain
    Carried off by storm and rain,
    As quest to get back home begins
    Finds herself collecting friends
    In need of brains, courage, heart,
    Each of whom will do his part
    To beat the odds, advance the cause,
    To find and face the terrible Oz.
    Surprise ending’s pretty slick.
    Girl gets home by a simple click.

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