IF Comp Poetry Review Thread!

Last year we did some condensed reviews as formal poetry. I see zero reasons why we should not do it again. (Original credit for this idea: Kate Sherrod.)

Last time around we did sonnet, villanelle, terza rima, limerick, Sapphic stanza, clerihew, and double-dactyl/ollekebolleke/higgledy-piggledy. These, or any other forms, are welcome. (Extra credit awarded for drottkvaet.) Spoiler tags for all, please.

Raik (Burns stanza, naturally):

[spoiler]Hails this, our newest comp contender
From land of Young and Old Pretenders;
Half half my lines I’ll therefore render
In braid Scots leed;
No Englishman could e’er defend a
Mair taupie deed.

Two heroes: one, with blade a-waving,
For magic treasures goes a-caving;
Meanwhile, in data-entry slaving
Is ilka brither;
This story’s kind of crazy-paving
Ane shifts tae ither.

One strives with beasts, one with neuroses
And life is ne’er a bed of roses;
Props for sustaining paradosis
In halesome fettle;
But in the end, each tale composes
Ower smaw an ettle.[/spoiler]

I don’t have the scale of words to thank you for that, so just: Thank you.

I’m surprised you do not mention haikus. Are they not an allowed as form, perhaps because of the shortness?

(I bring them up because I’ve seen haikus be a very popular poetry form on the Net)

A Call for the Complete Elimination of Joke Haiku Production on the Internet: woozle.org/~neale/papers/joke-haiku.html

Joke haiku aren’t bad
They aren’t unlike DLC
The intent was good.

Stress mine:

I am personally in broad agreement with the anti-haiku essay, but - as last time around demonstrated - if you tell someone not to do something in a thread like this, they’ll take it as a challenge. Therefore: write as many haiku as you like, but absolutely no sestinas will be permitted.

Hunger Daemon (Clerihew):

St. Paul cultist Barry
Has an Uncle Stu who is scary
Barry can’t stop Stu so far
Until he blows the shofar

Slasher Swamp (limerick):

There was a young fellow from Florida
Who broke down in the Everglades corridor
His femur got shattered
Where faeces was splattered:
After that, the tale only gets horrider.

I agree with this, too, though I’m sort of glad I didn’t see this last year. My last year’s joke haikus are not completely terrible. I think. Well, they were worth trying once.

ETA: wow, it’s from back in 2001? I was surprised at first, but I shouldn’t have been.

Plus I feel better about being annoyed by that guy at work when he told the Refrigerator haiku more than once.

Jacqueline, Jungle Queen (terza rima):

[spoiler]A correspondent for the Fresno Bee
Crashed into a dark and tangled wood.
She mimicked all the creature she could see,

Gliding, climbing, swimming as they could,
Past simple obstacles that barred the ways.
She passed a hall of traps and then she stood

Before a goddess statue wanting praise;
She touched an idol, warping scene to scene.
These puzzling tasks did more to help than faze

A very modern woman named McBean
Become a super-powered Jungle Queen.[/spoiler]


Seeing as poeming is my actual job, it is utterly horrible that I have to wait like three weeks before doing any of these, so I’d better save them up.

I eagerly await them.

Begscape (a dróttkvætt… sort of… I left out the kenning aspect. And probably many other subtleties of the form.)

Angry walking hungry
Envy of this city
Shattered shed this safety
Such expensive shelter
Walking stranger weaker
Wander ever weary
Spat on by a spirit
Spite for sleepy beggar

And one more…

Jesse Stavro’s Doorway (A double dactyl):

[spoiler]Key warper key warper,
Door-hopping Tourists go
Dashing through portals to
Visit the past.

Jesse’s friend Jordan was
Stuck in the Seventies;
Got him at last.[/spoiler]

I made a start on a beautiful outlaw, with each line a lipogram for the corresponding letter in the word ‘Zest’. Unfortunately, this wasn’t much of a constraint so the end result wasn’t very engaging. If I had more interest, I’d repeat the experiment either making it a complete lipogram of ‘z’, ‘e’, ‘s’ and ‘t’, or I’d make it at least rhyme and give it a metre worth a damn. Only so many hours in the day though.

ZEST (A Beautiful Outlaw)

[spoiler]Billy vaguely juices away life in quietude, exhaling rollup smoke

Without qualm or disfavour, Billy will just laxly carry on this way: smoking, snoozing, standing about at work

Unwaxed lemon peel will add fragrance to jazz up any baked vegetable quiche

No unwaxed lemon peel could possibly invoke fragrance or jazz up a life so chequered grey on grey as Billy’s[/spoiler]

Sigmund’s Quest (fornyrðislag, which I probably don’t fully understand):

Sing bold Sigmund | sword-extractor!
Techno-peasants | praise his pixels
Shout, O Sigmund | Sigurd’s sire!
Through thread thrifty | thine the story.
Foes foreshadow | fell thy future.
(Sigmund spoilers: | sister-shagger.)
Short the singing | still unfinished.

Slasher Swamp, anapaestic tetrameter (not maybe quite a classic form, but …)

[spoiler]I was driving through Florida, safe in my truck
when I quite unexpectedly ran out of luck:
for the engine had blown, I was left in the lurch
and with nothing to do, except wander and search.

So I first tried to look in a thicket I’d spied,
until, quick as a wink, I was eaten and died;
and I next tried to search in some sort of a shed –
but you won’t be surprised that I ended up dead.

Then I searched in a briefase, but that popped my clogs
and wherever I roamed in those terrible bogs
sudden death dogged my steps, till I felt no surprise
at the news of my latest depressing demise.

A gas station killed me, and so did a plant,
the fatalities multiplied, truly I can’t
count the infinite ways that the game found to send
my poor lost little soul to its miserable end.

So if you are ever round everglade way
avoid Slasher Swamp, it is no place to stay.
If you find you are there, your predicament’s grave,
and my only advice is to save, save, save, save.[/spoiler]

Had the joke Haiku been banned from the internet I may never have come across punk-poet “Bard of Salford” John Cooper Clarke’s immortal:

   "To Con-vey One's Mood
    In Sev-en-teen Syll-able-s
    Is Ve-ry Dif-fic"


…and my life would have been that much poorer as a consequence.


I think that’s the exception that proves the rule, though, isn’t it?

Also, given how rarely that site has been updated, he may’ve thought up that haiku before that essay was written.

As an author I’m not allowed to comment specifically, but I think I can say it’s reminded me of the glorious tradition of reworking other people’s art as silly poems. Specifically, Wendy Cope’s limerick version of The Waste Land.