I can't locate the reference at the moment but from memory, Ernest Hemingway had suggested to this young writer that he read the works of other writers and then select something that he felt he could write a lot better, But, he said, be sure that the writer he selected was dead, or that writer could come back and do better than he did. Well, why not? I decided to do exactly that when I started to get serious about writing poetry. And so for my quatrain, I selected Mother Goose. I felt certain that I could do better by simply making her brutal violence a little more humorous. For example:
- Anna Mariah sat on a fire
And burnt her poor butt to a char
The pain so intense
Helped her clear the back fence
And launch her first flight to a star
And for my limerick, I selected Lear's Book of Nonsense. To write a limerick better than he did, I would refrain from having the fifth line essentially a repeat the first. This did make it a more stressful challenge looking for a third rhyme, however slanted. For an example:
- In Cannes there is handsome Pierre,
The answer to a young maiden's prayer;
What makes her heart race
Ain't his good looking face,
But the buns on his French derriere.
From this point I began to find my own voice. Much of it is biographical and starts out to be true until it is trumped by the punch line, a definite 'foot in the mouth" hyperbole. And if you are inclined to look for second and third meanings to what I wrote, you will discover that I am a very shameless scoundrel. For examples, look inside.
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