Thursday, September 13, 2012

More "Fifteen Minute" Poetry

On my most recent turn to be in charge of Family Home Evening, I announced another round of poetry writing.

Now, I believe in differentiation. For that reason, I made a few adjustments.

1) Sam and Jeff were off the hook.
2) Daniel's poem didn't have to rhyme.
3) Jon, Eric, and Daniel were all warned at least an hour in advance so they could begin brainstorming.
4) I would let them confer and assign me a topic, at the last moment, so my poem would be truly extemporaneous. (How's that for a handicap?)

After dinner, we convened in the living room. I started a timer. Fifteen minutes later, we read our compositions aloud.

I quote the unedited originals, including any errors.


Ok, I'm feeling hungry, I know! I'm feeling soooo hungry, I'll eat twenty-two, dehidrated, Thanksgiving feasts. A while later...BURP!!! Did I hit you with my sonic burp I aqired from eating sooo much, sorry. The End.


There once was a deerling named Bambi
His story is quite Mamby-pamby
Then came a big fire,
and cooked up his dad
Now Bambi feels really bad.

Jon finished and then  announced that had been his "safety poem," composed during dinner. In his allotted fifteen minutes, he had also managed a couplet.

Knowing this means you're really quite fine
Now I know that you're just plain great

Two poems! And they rhymed this time! Good job, honey.


My python's not as dangerous as he looks,
Domestic, he is, in a family with books.
He tries to kill others, but never sucseeds,
But still, if you see him, go hide in the reeds.

He has not a name, but we're thinking of one,
Like Andrew? Elizabeth? Anakin? John?
That ought to describe him, now let's see what's next.
The cat is a good one. Let's see if she's hexed.


Quick flashback. We convened in the living room, then I left so the three "men" could confer. When they were ready, I entered the room and met my doom.

Jon took unholy pleasure in handing down my assignment: I had a mere fifteen minutes to compose an original, rhyming poem about "a conversation between a kangaroo and a tarantula, discussing the fjords of Uzbekistan."

I blinked. "Isn't Uzbekistan landlocked?" I asked.

"We didn't want to make it too easy for you," Jon explained, primly, then graciously said I was allowed to take some geographic liberties.

[Thanks, honey. Just remember, there are wars of words, and wars of escalation. But in an escalating war of words, I have the long-term advantage.]

Now, before you, the reader, judge me, the writer, let's try some role reversal. Go ahead and try the challenge yourself. I'll wait here.

See? It's harder than you thought. Remember that when you're judging my pitiful effort below.

A kilted killer kangaroo
(who was afraid of kittens)
encountered a tarantula
engaged in staging sit-ins.

Although our startled kangaroo
shrieked, screamed, freaked out, and fainted,
the selfish spider sat, unmoved,
and hieroglyphics painted.

Remonstrated the kangaroo,
"You really ought to move, man.
You frighten all who cross your path
Here is Uzbekistan."

Arachne, peeved, replied to this
"You speak most out of turn, sir.
For one thing, I'm a female. Plus
you'll never make me stir.

"I love landlocked Uzbekistan
with all its fjords resounding."
The kangaroo injected here
"There are no fjords abounding!

"A fjord lies on a coastline, see,
And Slartibartflast signs 'em.
And now I'm off to Norway for
the ice and snow to mine 'em."

Yes, it rather falls apart at the end. If I'd had but a few more minutes...

That's okay. Soon enough it will be my turn again for FHE. And I shall have vengeance!!!

Notes on the poem.

1. Arachne and the kangaroo both have quotes which span two stanzas.
2. Slartibartfast is a character from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. I misspelled his name in my original poem. (Can you blame me?)


Jon said...

You mock me!! Just you wait, someday I'm going to be a rich and famous poet and you'll be...oh, right, talented. Good job Honey. We definitely know who the wordsmith is in the family.

Gail said...

I did not either mock you!

I may have spoken with a wee bit of condescension. Or condensation, from all the dripping. (Of tears of sentiment--poor Bambi!--not sarcasm.)

But I did not mock you. I was aware you entered into this activity with all the enthusiasm of a delinquent druggie being ground into the pavement by mafia enforcers. It seemed unsportin' to push you into it and then point and snicker.

It's not like you were a narcissistic politician who invited the scrutiny.

Besides, I didn't laugh any harder at you than I laughed at myself.

See? No mocking. Pthpt.