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Monday, May 27, 2013

I Won a Poetry Contest!

John Keats, by William Hilton (died 1839). See...
John Keats, by William Hilton (died 1839). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    Since many in the United States are celebrating today (May 27th) as Memorial Day, I'll keep things light.  No heavy controversy or debate.  We'll get back to that mode next week.  Today is time for pie a la mode and other such summer fun.

          Today I offer a poem.  Last week this poem won first place in the light poetry contest at the May meeting of the Writers Workshop West in Downey, California.  My prize was twenty bucks!  Cool!  After today's post I'll add the poem to the Writers Workshop West blog.

          This poem was inspired by one of the poetry experts in the group, Lorine Parks.  I essentially revised her guidelines on writing light verse into my own bit of silliness.  Her most recent collection of poetry is Catalina Eddy.  You can find an interesting interview with Lorine at YouTube--Part 1 and Part 2

Here is my prize winning bit of poetry:

On Writing Light Verse

Here is my treatise on writing light verse.
Since I'm confined in my lines I must keep it terse. 
A treat it is to hear this treatise explained,
But if you think not, then please don't complain.
Now I'm referring to poems that tend to be lighter.
You must write them right to be a right writer.
Don't versify ravens or birds that are dark.
Stick to chickens or chickadees or maybe the lark.
And by all means we must avoid doggerel
Lest when we read it aloud it sounds like caterwaul
Oh, and speaking of similes--or metaphorically so--
We must keep all verse under proper control.
No making up words or messing with grammar.
Or you might anger grandpa or cause the r-r-reader to stammer. 
Avoid haughty pretention of supercilious verbiage.
Nonsensical imagery is highly encouraged.
It's not the lyrical stanzas of Keats, Shelley, or Wordsworth--
They owed it to their readers to give them their words worth.
Still, you must be sure that your literacy shows
After all we want to write poetry like pros. 

        Did you catch my puns and wordplays?  Do you ever write light or humorous verse?    Are you part of a local writers group?

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  1. This was great Lee and congrats on the prize, Where I live Shelley's son also called Percy owned much of the land in the 1800s in fact he bought a Manor just further along the road to me and it has been renovated into our Health centre. The likes of Byron, Keats and Robert Louis Stevenson were frequent visitors.
    Have a good day.

  2. Congratulations! And yes, I caught the puns. That was very clever and witty, Lee.
    If I rhyme, it's by complete accident...

  3. Excellent, Lee! What will you spend your booty on? I write a fair bit of poetry but it isn't in the 'light' vein. More like free verse though I have put my pen to a couple of sonnets - a challenging yet satisfying form! Keep on keepin' on and I look forward to more verse from you.
    I belong to two writing groups - one is for fiction and the other poetry.

  4. Enjoyed your poem, made me think of some of Lewis Carroll's work. Clever. I used to write a lot of poetry as a young woman, these days I just write blogs. I won a poetry competition once, didn't get a prize, just publication.


  5. This is not only an excellent poem, it is also brilliant, entertaining and rolls off the tongue when read.

    Congrats on winning. And...

    don't stop there.


  6. Hi Lee .. that was a lovely read - light and breezy off the tongue - and congratulations on the $ prize.

    Teresa says it .. don't stop there .. well done - cheers Hilary

  7. Yvonne -- You live in an area rich in literary heritage. Perhaps your own inspiration is channeled through the likes of Shelley.

    Alex -- You might surprise yourself if you tried. Maybe you have a book of sci-fi poetry on some horizon.

    Jan -- Do your writing groups keep you very busy? I probably need to find another that meets more often. Groups can be helpful.

    Jo -- Publication can be good, especially if the distribution is wide.

    Teresa -- I'll probably try more on occasion, but I don't see myself as becoming a full-time poet yet.

    Hilary -- If I can get more money from it I'll keep going. I'll probably write more on occasion even if the money is not there.


  8. Congrats! Didn't know you indulged. . .

  9. Wow Lee I had no idea that you were into writing poetry, in all my time of following I don't think I've ever seen you blog about writing before. Great post buddy, congratulations as well!

  10. That was fun stuffs, BOIDMAN LEE!

    Yeah, when I was younger I tried my hand at writing a few different types of poetry, including light verse.

    Whatcha gonna spend that twenty bucks on? (Feel free
    to spend it on me.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  11. Karen, Tim, Sheena, DG-- Thanks all. Oh yes, I do indulge in poetry now and then and even post it on my blogs sometimes.

    Yeamie -- I have frequently posted about writing in the past and even posted poetry before, but not so much these days.

    StMc --Twenty bucks! What twenty bucks? In today's economy twenty bucks evaporates before you get it home.


  12. It reads as well as it sounded at the meeting.

  13. I'm not the easiest when it comes to poetry, but that was great.

  14. I enjoy writing poetry here and there,

    though typically I find that I don't like to share.

    It always sound great as I'm making it up

    but when I re-read I find it's not up to snuff.

    Most of the time I write a few lines

    then get bored and fed up tryna come up with rhymes.

    I'll stick to the simple, generic comments

    and leave rhyming to you and other such gents. (or ladies.)


  15. A great bit of poetry there, Lee. I can easily see how it won. All the puns and word plays were quite clever.

    Enjoy your Memorial Day.

    Chuck at Apocalypse Now

  16. *applauds* I like it! Worthy of a win.

  17. Yes! Let's by all means give readers their words worth. LOL. Congratulations. The only humorous writing I do in unintentional. Unfortunately. :)

  18. Congrats Lee :)


  19. Jack -- Thanks. I'd like to see some more feedback from our group members. Did you see how I gave Lorine some promotion?

    Andrew -- I respect your opinion.

    Matt -- Thanks for the clever comment in verse.

    Chuck -- Thank you for reading.

    Tami -- I bowed to your applause. Thanks!

    Jan -- You may be a humorous poet and not know it?

    SA --- Thank you very much!

    Donna -- Apprecianations!


  20. yes very witty Lee
    the light hearted verse suits you :)

  21. That was really so much fun. Dripping with wit and insight.

    My favorite line is the "haughty pretention of supercilious verbiage."

  22. Leslie -- Maybe I should try my hand at more?

    Jay -- I will admit having to double check the dictionary to make sure I was using the words correctly.


  23. Fun poem, and yes I caught your puns and clever rhymes too. Congrats on winning the prize.

  24. You are quite the wordsmith, juggler of words and phrases, and very punny. You are a poet and I didn't know it, until now! Congrats on your prize. Well deserved. That was so much fun!

  25. Rachna, Susanne, Jagoda, and Buck--




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