Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Poetry Competition


The poem below is the best example of the style of poetry where the third and fourth lines finish with words that do not respect the rhyme scheme of the first two of each verse, and you have to guess the 'real' word that would have rhymed. This "As I was Walking by St Paul's..." style was much practised by schoolboys at my prep school, often with the approval of the English teacher. This was first published in the New Statesman, of all places, in its weekly poetry comp many years ago. Basil Ransome now calls himself Basil Ransome-Davies and wins prizes in the Speccie comps at least once a month, it seems.

Idle is now departing for his low-carbon-footprint, high-cordite-footprint holiday in the highlands. I hope one or two visitors (more!) might try their hand at one of these poems in my absence. The best effort, if worthy, wins a prize.

I dreamed I dwelt in marble halls
Of ample airs and sumptuous tinge,
While odalisques caressed my cheeks,
Each with a moist and willing palm

I dreamed I sauntered on the front
At Cannes, where I had moored my yacht.
The movie stars! The lavish cars!
The fine display of Gallic charm!

I dreamed I discoed at the Ritz -
The evening warm, the music cool -
And gorgeous girls who tossed their curls
Admired my sleek and well-hung clothes.

But then I woke, and cursed my luck;
My heart relapsed, my spirits sank.
No yacht in France, no girls, no dance -
No option but to have a doze.

Basil Ransome

42 comments:

Mermaid of Moorgate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Wow! This is a bit high-brow.

'Twas Monday and it was my luck
To find that I was late for work
I really couldn't give a cake
Because my boss is quite a pill.

But sorrow soon became my lot
When on my desk I spied a host
Of papers, so I lost the will
Completely, and gave up the drugs.

I'm letting myself out...

idle said...

Gosh what a good start from the piscean poetess. The bar is already quite high, lads, but I am sure you can accomplish rhyme and scansion and give the mermaid a tussle for the prize.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Happy to tussle with anyone...

Tuscan Tony said...

All this talk of moist palms and "well-hung" makes me think you need to get some fresh Sussex air into you, and fast.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

What's the prize? I've decided that I have won.

Nick Drew said...

Not so fast, young Mermaid

I've come to defend the honour of the Drew, & I'll tussle all-comers to the last rhyme & scansion. (Mr Idle & I go back - remember the song of Auld Gordon Brown ?)

* * * * * * * * *

At party conference in September
Gordon Brown his fate confronts
He must contain his throbbing brain
As he recalls some famous predecessors

He thinks of Blair who wooed the bankers
Of Kinnock and his way with words
Of Foot and Benn and such great men
From whom poured forth such steaming prose

The party faithful sing of succour
For members of the working class
The song was writ by some bright wit
Who knew not elbow from his thigh

But haunting Brown’s the thought of loss
A snap election might fortell
Let him lose sleep, the brooding creep
And may he after rest in Kircaldy

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Nick Drew - I must throw in the towel:
The prize is thine for keepers.
It's been fair play, no cries of doubt;
You win, and losers can fuck right off and die.

Lilith said...

Nick Drew is our very own Tom Lehrer...

Nick Drew said...

ladies you are too kind. I have been somewhat busy of late but intend to take the autumn off and normal bloggerel services shall be resumed

now throw in that towel over here, Mermaid

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

the towel's a bit wet Nick, but you can have it if you really want.

Newmania said...

Hmmmmnot sure I`ve quite got the hang of this



I was aghast at Tony Lit
Whose flashing grin so many heart ,stole
He preened and pranced about, the while
But gave a cheque to Tony, ah well...


Now can we avoid election loss or
Are we doomed ? Brown`s far in front
I wonder now ,is Dave`s a leader
For the job ? He`s such a Liberal


Oh Christ the thought of Brown`s so heinous
He found himself a PR harlot and ;
Finally unsheathed his plans
Revealing that he was an honest man


So rally round , be of good heart
Don`t fall into the cynics` trap
Fly in high winds like a kite
We`re going to win , ( I`m talking er,,,.. truth)



Needs work ...

coat ?

Newmania said...

True Love


Oh Mermaid ,beauty cannot last
Why hoard your sweetness , give but a kiss
And soon I `ll pierce you in the heart
And plunge so mightily you sigh

But take my arm, let me be heard
I`ll pour such sorrow , you`ll not mock
But on my face you’ll lay a caress
And in your mouth allow my praise.


.....mmmmmm nope

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Newmania, thy charms do not belie
Thy beating heart and smiling front; But thou hast failed to catch my drift:
Thy wife must think thou art a flirt

Newmania said...

My compass of my heart must stick
Whilst Pointing in the true direction
It is my sleek and bulbous wife
Now what can I do with this last line ?


Dur hur

( Not really)

Mermaid of Moorgate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Ah! Newman, we had thought you placid,
But you are bold on this endeavour!
Beware! For you could find it's sleeping
A state that often lasts a while.

The last jab, I admit, was weak
But then I have more time to bloom
For I am still years off my prime:
So tell me, should we get a cat?

Nick Drew said...

If I have understood the rule
(Alas - cold water from this bucket)
The thirdmost line must show its rhyme
Or else, disqualified! (oh ... never mind)

Lilith said...

Newmania! Don't try so hard,
To woo the Maid of the deep!
You'll only tire, & raise her ire,
And make her flesh tingle.

Nick Drew said...

hey hey, competition's hotting up

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

nick drew, you've already won. Leave us to our rude and illiterate rhyming. Not all of us fagged for Stephen Fry you know.

Tuscan Tony said...

COme on, idle, stop fiddling with your bag and get a fresh post up -I'm bored!

Newmania said...

Not all of us fagged for Stephen Fry you know.

*Tears of mirth*

Newmania said...

The little fags were in a pickle
They wriggled in their sweaty bunk
Drew gave the prefects nuts a polish
Hoping or a splash of cologne

true blue said...

Idle: I too, am bored with this poetry stuff now; I think Mermaid wins "Fins Down", with Nick D. close runner up. How about a Smutty Limericks Competition ?

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

newmania - I return the favour - many, many tears of mirth for that four-liner.

Newmania said...

Honourable thrid for me then ...yeeeha !

Nick Drew said...

Mermaid ! yes, you – and Mania Minor !
Sniggering at the back of class
Minds full of ‘mock’, ‘bunk’, ‘stick’, etc
Such Idle nonsense ! Wipe that smile !

idle said...

I have run out of cartridges and fishing flies and have little to show for my endeavours, except a slimmer waist and a face burnished by the Highland sun. Drive south tomorrow.

First impressions are that this competition has done rather better than I imagined it would, with a couple of stellar entries, though I am disappointed that a really vulgar effort from the Hitch has been unforthcoming. The Tuscan's classic iambic is also missed.

Results, tea and medals in a couple of days.

Tuscan Tony said...

The pressure is on, I will not be beaten by The Hitch. Fun and games at IKEA Florence ce matin, will knuckle down to the task this p.m.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Are the medals chocolate? If so, I would like to have a big 'un. If not, I'll take tea, milk, no sugar. Luvverly.

Tuscan Tony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tuscan Tony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tuscan Tony said...

Monday I prowled the walls of Lucca
In search of damsel easy, with blond thatch
My cunning plan to dine and wine her
Then in my pool, to rub her back.

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