Showing His Ars Poetica

October 10, 1996


I’m not just trying to string you along or just trying to get out of a little work. I’m trying to do both. So, the first “Arlo & Janis Poet Laureate for a Day” will be announced tomorrow, in a special Saturday edition. Seriously, I don’t have time this morning to do this grave matter justice. Plus, remember, it’s not like a real contest. But it’s been fun, and the fun continues. I did take time to dig out the above, a discussion of poems and poetry between Gene and his girlfriend Ruth. Ruth always has been one of my favorite characters. She sprang up in the hallway of Gene’s middle school one day and continued to write her own material for several years.


23 thoughts on “Showing His Ars Poetica”

  1. I lost the Thanksgiving limerick contest a couple of years ago and am still too despondent to apply again. But I ask you, shouldn’t I have won with this?

    Turkey shares his joy
    With his happy happy song
    “Gobble gobble GOB……”

    I think the winner paid off the judge!

  2. There once was a comic named Johnson
    Whose poem contest became a long one
    He’d read with despair,
    There is no winner there,
    So he gave up and awarded the wrong one.

    Judging is a beast, there were all fun.

    • Spacing matters. Judging is a beast was meant as an observation, and spaced lower than the limerick, but that is not how it appeared, as well as the misspelling they were all fun.
      Joys of internet editing.

    • Last line of judging is a beast was not meant to be part of the limerick. I placed a line space between it and it did not carry over.
      Might as well correct the spelling of there to “they were.” Computer editing… I wrote my correction once, and it disappeared so hopefully this isn’t a duplicate.

  3. December 4, 2013: I stood by the side of a hospital bed as my sister, my only sibling, took her last breath and slipped peacefully away.
    December 4, 2020: I sat by the side of a hospital bed as Jackie sat on the edge of its other side, eating her lunch, unassisted.
    Finally, something about 2020 turned out better.

    • We have SO much to be thankful for, but sometimes it takes a bit of perspective. In 2002, my fairly new car broke down in Chandron, NE and when the tow driver picked me up to take me to the dealer, it was only 2 miles away. I told him that I was really lucky. He laughed and said that I might be the first person that he ever picked up to say that and I told him that I had driven about 300 miles without a large town through the state of Nebraska and my car broke down 2 miles away.

      Keep counting your blessings and we will be praying for all of you.

  4. The meter is improved:

    The morning clock makes a loud clatter
    But stirs me not; it’s a small matter
    For soon I must cleave
    From my sheets to relieve
    The pressure in my swollen blatter

  5. Ghost, I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I was reading online re what people would do differently when they thought that things were safer than they are now. My wife’s family seems to think that I’m weird because I think that they should wear masks although two of them have the virus now Of course they all supported Trump so I’m not that surprised. I don’t owe them my life although they do owe me a significant amount of money.

  6. Improved meter:

    The morning clock makes a loud clatter
    But stirs me not; it’s a small matter
    For soon I must cleave
    From my sheets to relieve
    The pressure in my swollen blatter

  7. With considerable respect to the brilliance of Steve in TN, I suggest an edit for limerick meter:

    The morning clock makes a clatter,
    But stirs me not – a small matter,
    For soon I must cleave
    From my sheets to relieve,
    Pressure in my swollen bladder.

    Now, ‘scuse me while I go see a man about a horse…

    • I went to junior high (rather than middle school), Rick, but only the one year that we lived in a suburb of Cleveland when I was in 7th grade. My family was from Arizona and we did not have them there — at least not then. Maybe they do now and I simply don’t know it. (When we moved back — Dad’s work changed back — I went to 8th grade at the same elementary school I’d been in before.)

      • Dawn:

        Thanks for the reply.

        This town’s school system changed the name of the junior highs to middle schools. As far as I can tell, that is the only difference.

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