Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category


August 16, 2014

Today’s Zippy, on musical mashups:


The third panel veers into a Zippy favorite, Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL, in a parody version.


Yesterday’s anniversaries

August 10, 2014

Yesterday, August 9th, was the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resigning the Presidency of the United States. And the New York Times had an appreciation of Frank O’Hara’s “Lunch Poems”, which was first published in 1964 and has now been reissued by City Lights. A startling juxtaposition of personalities: the awkward, often surly, and fiercely ambitious politician Nixon versus the charming and gregarious poet, with his great gift for friendship.



May 14, 2014

On May 2nd on the Everyday Feminism site, “Why Grammar Snobbery Has No Place in the Movement” by Melissa A. Fabello, presenting the customary linguists’ arguments that non-standard, regional, informal, etc. variants are not failed attempts to produce the formal written standard variety, but are instead features of alternative linguistic systems, each appropriate to certain social contexts — and moving on from that linguistic point to the wider sociopolitical point that these features should not be used as weapons against those who customarily employ the features; they are not failed citizens because they deviate from the use of formal standard written features in all contexts.

Fabello goes on to quote a moving poem by Aysha Syed on the matter.


Modern Diner

November 9, 2013

Today’s Zippy, with yet another diner:


That’s the Modern Diner in Pawtucket. Then there’s the allusion to the limerick beginning “There once was a man from Nantucket”.


Brief notice: jazz haiku

October 13, 2013

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,
but solarplexy.

Googling on “jazz haiku” pulls up a considerable number of haiku about jazz.

Nursery rhymes

September 30, 2013

Today’s Pearls Before Swine, in which Rat updates a nursery rhyme:

A number of people have labored to modernize traditional nursery rhymes or to create new rhymes in the style of the traditional ones. Most of these are sweet or humorous, but some are serious. Consider, for instance, Modern Mother Goose – On The Loose: The Oil Spill by Mary Elizabeth Rumsey (2010), a rhyme on the Gulf Coast oil spill as seen through the eyes of a goose.


Mashup: Mary Worth’s howl

August 16, 2013

Considering mashups of different artistic genres, Josh Millard offers Mary Worth’s Howl:

Mary Worth’s Howl, by Al “Screwball” Ginsberg [8/15/13]

So, Lauren LoPrete‘s Peanuts + Smiths Lyrics mashup blog, This Charming Life, has been making the rounds; it ended up on Metafilter yesterday, which led to much riffing on other possible comic/band juxtapositions, and I saw someone mention Mary Worth and joked that it should in fact be: Mary Worth and excerpts from Howl.


The queen of South Jersey diner haiku

August 4, 2013

Today’s Zippy:


Three haikus on the abandoned Olga’s Diner in Marlton Circle in South Jersey.


Pied-Piping Day

July 23, 2013

… was yesterday. From John Lawler on Facebook, this comment about the Pied Piper of Hamelin and an illustration, originally from Richard Galgano:

July 22 is Ratcatcher’s Day (celebrated on June 26 in Hamelin, Germany)



Revolution at school

July 14, 2013

Today’s Bizarro, for Bastille Day (today):

Bring the revolution to school! As it happens, Doug Wyman wrote me a little while ago about a piece of revolutionary childlore, the rhyme:

No more pencils,
No more books,
No more teachers’/teacher’s/teachers dirty looks.

(This is a rhyming couplet, in trochaic tetrameter, written here with the first line split in two.) Doug wondered about variations in the rhyme. It looks like the couplet above is invariant (in pronunciation; there are orthographic variants given above), but there are numerous extensions to it around, and some of them are aggressive taunts against teachers and schools.)



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