Torgo's parody of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven is a particularly well-done example of the genre, which has many entrants (it's the Harlem Shake of poetry!):
Turning back, I saw them seated; feeling injured and defeated I approached and wanly greeted them: "Sylvester! Ms. Lenore! I sincerely hope you're thriving - had I known you were arriving I'd have sent out for reviving frappuccinos from the store; Frappuccinos, danish pastries, and spring water from the store - Next time, why not call before?"
The actor sat there, massive, with his craggy face impassive, And it seemed that I'd established neither good will nor rapport. The signs were not propitious; I thought it certainly suspicious That he came in train with vicious, feared and cynical Lenore - Still I leaned across the table and began to speak - "Lenore-" Quoth the agent: "Rambo IV!"
A "Snowball" is a poem "in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer." Nossidge built an automated Snowball generator that uses Markov Chains, pulling text from Project Gutenberg. It's written in C++, with code on GitHub. The results are rather beautiful poems (these ones are "mostly Dickens"):
o we all have heard people believe anything
i am the dawn light before anybody expected something disorderly
i am the very great change
Ross sez, "I was reading Thomas Meyer's great new translation of Beowulf when the annual showing of The Grinch came on. The potential for a mash-up overwhelmed me, and this is the result."
Every Scylding in Heorot liked mead a lot, But Grendel the beast, roaring outside did not.
Grendel hated Scyldings, the whole Danish clan., Can I say why? I don’t think I can.
He spied on the Scyldings, he fumed and he wailed., He watched as in Heorot they drank mead and drank ale.
A bit of genius unsourced net.stuff: if Shakespeare wrote the Hokey Pokey. "The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt/Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about."
Update: And we have a source! It's from a "Washington Post Style Invitational contest that asked readers to submit "instructions" for something (anything), but written in the style of a famous person. The winning entry was The Hokey Pokey (as written by William Shakespeare)", "Written by Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls, Maryland, and submitted by Katherine St. John." - Thanks, princessalex!
Please read Robert Browning's Sordello and let us know if you agree with the sentiments expressed below.
Robert Browning spent seven years composing Sordello, a 40,000-word narrative poem about strife between Guelphs and Ghibellines in 13th-century Italy. It was not received well.
Tennyson said, “There were only two lines in it that I understood, and they were both lies: ‘Who will may hear Sordello’s story told’ and ‘Who would has heard Sordello’s story told.’”
Thomas Carlyle wrote, “My wife has read through ‘Sordello’ without being able to make out whether ‘Sordello’ was a man, or a city, or a book.”
Douglas Jerrold opened the book while convalescing from an illness and began to fear that his mind had been destroyed. “O God, I AM an idiot!” he cried, sinking back onto the sofa. He pressed the book on his wife and sister; when Mrs. Jerrold said, “I don’t understand what this man means; it is gibberish,” her husband exclaimed, “Thank God, I am NOT an idiot!”
Step Gently Out is children's picture book in which poet Helen Frost's verse accompanies the incredible garden insect photographs of artist/photographer Rick Lieder. I've written here many times about Rick's Bugdreams photos, and they never fail to impress and move me. Lieder's photographic portraits of bugs are all the sweeter for his method, which is to patiently crouch in his Michigan back-yard for hours and hours, waiting for the shot; it's a wonderful alternative to the traditional dead-bug-on-a-pin photos I grew up with.
Frost's poem is a sweet accompaniment to Lieder's pictures, a very light narration for photos that really speak for themselves. We got this book this week, and it's a real favorite with me and my four-year-old, and has sparked many conversations and bug-watching expeditions on the way home from day-care. To this end, there's a nice entomological appendix with interesting facts about all the bugs featured in the book.
Read the rest
Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text invite us to look more closely at the world and prepare to be amazed.
What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings, or a spider step across a silken web.
In simple, evocative language, Helen Frost offers a hint at the many tiny creatures around us.
And in astonishing photographs, Rick Lieder captures the glint of a katydid’s eye, the glow of a firefly, and many more living wonders just awaiting discovery.
FirstSecond's new Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists is one of those rare parental treasures: a picture book that kids and parents can really enjoy together. Editor Chris Duffy invited some of the greatest names in comic illustration to choose their favorite Mother Goose classics and illustrate them to their taste.
The result is an absolute delight from the first page to the last. How can you not love a book that includes Jules Feiffer's "Girls and Boys Come Out to Play"; Lucy Knisley's "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" (a fantastic rock-n-roll reinterpretation of the original); Richard Thompson's "There Was An Old Woman Tossed Up in a Basket"; Gahan Wilson's (!) "Itsy-Bitsy Spider"; Mike Mignola's "Solomon Grundy"; Jaime Hernandez's "Jack and Jill"; Jordan Crane's "Old Mother Hubbard"; Vera Bosgol's "There Was a Little Girl"; Gilbert Hernandez's "Humpty Dumpty" and Gene Yang's "Pat-a-Cake"?
That's nothing like a comprehensive list, by the way -- the table of contents for this set my mouth watering as soon as I saw it, and the live-fire bedtime exercise has been an unqualified success. My three year old is all over this like fudge on sundaes.
FirstSecond were kind enough to let me include a selection of opening pages from the book -- click through below to get a preview!