Ok, buh-bye is indeed an iamb, but it’s not a lamb. Anyway, the end of March is eight days away.
For the Winter Solstice, a snowy parody starring Zippy:
Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, taken into many strange places: Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, Skeeball, Fleer’s Dubble Bubble gum, a gondolier, William Blake’s poetry, a strip mall, Joe Biden (Vice President of the U.S.), and a laundromat.
A complex portmanteau in the last panel: marshmallegro has all of marshmallow and all of allegro in it (thus combining the otherwise disparate marshmallow-toasting and musical-tempo themes), but the shared material — /ælo/ — is discontinuous, first /æl/ in the middle of the portmanteau, then /o/ at the end. (The portmanteau is also prosodically pleasing: a double trochee, S W / S W, which could easily be set to music.) (more…)
From Chris Waigl on Facebook, this entertaining composition:
[Corrected from an earlier version, with thanks to Chris W.]
A complex portmanteau of labrador (retriever) + abracadabra (the magician’s incantation), with the first more or less wrapped around the second. And, as Chris pointed out, also a double dactyl,
S W W / S W W
John Lawler commented, “Pretty alabrate setup.”
(As with most of these compositions, I have no idea who originally created it.)
[Addendum: obviously, the dogs are not labs, but (Siberian) huskies — probably, as Chris W. suggests to me, because of the enormous number of husky images available on the net. But the joke would be better with actual labs.]
From Ryan Tamares recently, a piece of a Subway Flatizza box. The box woudn’t scan for me, but what it says is Flatizza™: “Cheesy & delicious meets crispy & square” (easily readable as tetrameter, with front-accented feet). Square flatbread with pizza toppings: cheese, pepperoni, spicy Italian, veggie.
Flatizza is of course a portmanteau of flatbread (contributing flat-) and pizza (contributing -izza), without overlap between the two parts.
For some years, I’ve been taking a diuretic with a long name that lots of people, including some medical personnel, have trouble pronouncing, though I don’t. What works for me is that the name is in trochaic tetrameter (with a final short foot):
hydrochlorothiazide: HY dro CHLo ro THI a ZIDE
Trochaic tetrameter is the meter of most English folk verse (folk songs, nursery rhymes, etc.), many advertising slogans, sayings, and more. People didn’t frame these with the trochaic tetrameter pattern in mind; they chose expressions according to what “sounded good” to them — that is, according to an implicit or unconscious aesthetic.
Posted on Facebook by Jeff Shaumeyer:
Here’s an interior shot at Bowen’s Farm Supply. I took it mostly because I was moved by the poetry of the phrase “Mole Vole Rodent Control”.
The sort of expression that Zippy the Pinhead is inclined to treat as a mantra, repeating it over and over to savor it.
A commercial for Cyvita is currently going the rounds. It promises
Longer, stronger, and more frequent erections
It begins with two rhyming trochees (SW SW), then branches out into two more complex feet, trochaic in feel but with leading weak (extrametrical) syllables ( ( WW ) SW and ( W ) SW).
Trochees are everywhere in English, and tetrameter is the predominant meter for folk verse of all kinds.
In today’s Zippy, we return to the Poindexter bar bat; see “The Poindexter bar bat, or barbat”, here, with extended discussion, including material from the Zippy archives and an analysis of bar bat. From that posting:
Poindexter bar bats: Poindexter is just one of those names that entertain Bill Griffith because of the sound; but what about bar bat? Like many things in Zippy, this is surely meant to be absurd but suggestive.
Now we have the extended plaid Poindexter bar bat, which Muffler Bunyan enjoys because of its sound. A little festival of bilabial plosives ( /p p b b/ ), and tetrameter, the dominant English folk meter.
In yesterday’s NYT, an obit, “James A. Emanuel, Poet Who Wrote of Racism, Dies at 92″ by William Yardley, concluding:
In his later years, Mr. Emanuel claimed to have invented a new form of literature: the jazz haiku, stanzas of 17 syllables he read to the accompaniment of jazz music. Like the music, they felt improvisational even as they respected structure:
Four-letter word JAZZ:
naughty, sexy, cerebral,
Googling on “jazz haiku” pulls up a considerable number of haiku about jazz.