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  1. 1. 1 POETRY by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen
  2. 2. Unconventional Poetry: 2
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. Alleen’s Poetry Day at A.S.U. 4 • Poems are for sharing out loud. • The difference between prose and poetry is rhetorical density: schemes and tropes. • Poems are emotional and sensual.
  5. 5. 5 EDMUND CLERIHEW BENTLEY • Edmund Clerihew Bentley invented a satiric verse form called the “clerihew.” • When their lordships asked Bacon • How many bribes he had taken • He had at least the grace • To get very red in the face.
  6. 6. 6 GELETT BURGESS • In 1901, Burgess wrote a playful parody of Emily Dickenson’s “I Never Saw a Moor.” Burgess’s poem went as follows: • I never saw a Purple Cow, • I never Hope to See one. • But I can Tell you Anyhow, • I’d rather see than Be one!
  7. 7. 7 • Burgess was forced to recite this ditty so often that in desperation he wrote a new poem: • Oh Yes, I wrote “The Purple Cow.” • I’m Sorry now I Wrote it. • But I can Tell you Anyhow, • I’ll Kill you if you Quote it.”
  8. 8. George Carlin: “I’m a Modern Man”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZGzmKjsAoA 8
  9. 9. 9 LEWIS CARROLL • Lewis Carroll wrote parodies and nonsense verse: • ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves • Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: • all mimsy were the borogroves, • And the mome raths outgrabe.
  10. 10. 10 ALLEN GINSBERG • When Allen Ginsberg ushered in the age of “Beat” poetry with “Howl,” people were amazed that a poem about depression and suffering could also be exuberant and exciting and filled with such fresh and humorous images as “angel-headed hipsters,” from “Zen New Jersey,” eating “the lamb stew of the imagination,” and being “run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality.”
  11. 11. 11 EDWARD LEAR • Edward Lear wrote “learics.” The name of the genre was later changed to “limericks.” • There is a young lady whose nose, • Continually prospers and grows; • When it grew out of sight, • She exclaimed in a fright • “Oh! Farewell to the end of my nose!”
  12. 12. 12 JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL • Lowell was a Harvard professor who was opposed to the Mexican War. He invented a character by the name of Birdofredum Sawin as a satiric spokesperson for his anti-war sentiments. • Birdofredum had lost an arm, a leg, and an eye in the war, so he planned to go into politics as a way of cashing in on his “disfigurements.” His political speeches went like this:
  13. 13. 13 • If, while you’re lectioneerin round, some curious chap should beg • To know my views o’ state affairs, just answer WOODEN LEG! • If they ain’t satisfied with that, and kinda pry and doubt, • And ax for somethin’ definite, just say ONE EYE PUT OUT! • In talking about his “platform” Birdofredum continues:
  14. 14. 14 • Then you can call me “Timbertoes”—that’s what the people likes!.... • “Old Timbertoes,” you see, ‘s a creed it’s safe to be quite bold on, • There’s nothin in’t the other side can any ways get hold on.
  15. 15. Edna Saint Vincent Millay: A Very Poetic Name 15
  16. 16. 16 JULIA MOORE • Julia Moore, the “Sweet Singer of Michigan” wrote funeral poems: • One morning in April, a short time ago. • Libbie was alive and gay; • Her Savior called her, she had to go, • Ere the close of that pleasant day. • While eating dinner, this dear little child • Was choked on a piece of beef. • Doctors came, tried their skill awhile, • But none could give relief.
  17. 17. 17 • Mark Twain confessed to studying Julia Moore’s poetry to learn the art of writing “funny” poems. He is said to have used Moore as the model for Emmaline Grangerford, who wrote “Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec’d,” in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  18. 18. 18 MATTHEW PRIOR • Matthew Prior was a 17th -century poet who wrote epigrams: • Sir, I admit your general rule, • That every poet is a fool: • But you yourself may serve to show it, • That every fool is not a poet.
  19. 19. 19 DR. SEUSS • Theodore Seuss Geisel wrote under the names of Theo LeSieg, Rosetta Stone, and Dr. Seuss. • When Dr. Seuss was awarded an honorary doctorate at a college graduation, the entire audience stood up and recited Green Eggs and Ham.
  20. 20. Alliteration: Jack Webb and Johnny Carson: “Kleptomania”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjquGpmgwOo 20
  21. 21. 21 COL. D. STEAMER • Col. D. Steamer was the pen name of Harry Graham, an English soldier who produced a book of “Little Willie” or “Little Billie” poems. • Billy, in one of his nice, new sashes, • Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes. • Now, although the room grows chilly, • I haven’t the heart to poke poor Billy.
  22. 22. 22 ENGAGEMENT AND TRANSCENDENCE • Good poetry usually contains much sensual imagery. Poetry is usually about the interaction between a human being and the human being’s senses of smell, taste, touch, sound, and sight. • But good poetry is also often transcendent.
  23. 23. 23 Synesthesia
  24. 24. 24 The Jasmine Lightness of the Moon by William Carlos Williams To a Solitary Disciple Rather notice, mon cher, that the moon is tilted above the point of the steeple than that its color is shell-pink Rather observe that it is early morning than that the sky is smooth as a turquoise.
  25. 25. 25 Rather grasp how the dark converging lines of the steeple meet at the pinnacle— perceive how its little ornament tries to stop them--
  26. 26. 26 See how it fails! See how the converging lines of the hexagonal spire escape upward— receding, dividing! --sepals that guard and contain the flower!
  27. 27. 27 Observe how motionless the eaten moon lies in the protecting lines It is true: in the light colors of morning brown-stone and slate shine orange and dark blue.
  28. 28. 28 But observe the oppressive weight of the squat edifice! Observe the jasmine lightness of the moon.
  29. 29. 29 POETIC LICENSE, SCHEMES AND TROPES • The syntax of poetry is just as structured as is the syntax of prose, but it follows different rules. • Poetry is usually structured in terms of end-rhyme, internal rhyme, scansion, alliteration, assonance, and rhythm. These surface- structure repetitions are called “schemes.” • Robert Frost writes poetry that is based on schemes. • In addition, poetry might have metaphor, paradox, enigma, symbolism, double entendre, parody, irony, satire, deadpan, or antithesis. These deep-structure meaning-based concepts are called “tropes.” • e. e. cummings writes poetry that is based on “tropes.”
  30. 30. 30 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the wood and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.
  31. 31. 31 He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.
  32. 32. 32 POETRY STRUCTURED BY TROPES • In “love,” e. e. cummings breaks almost all of the rules not only of grammar but of poetry. • He also uses Irony, Antithesis and Enigma to exploit the paradoxes and contradictions of “love.” • Note that cummings also uses slant rhyme in order to break normal poetic conventions.
  33. 33. 33 love is more thicker than forget more thinner than recall more seldom than a wave is wet more frequent than to fail it is most mad and moonly and less it shall unbe than all the sea which only is deeper than the sea
  34. 34. 34 love is less always than to win less never than alive less bigger than the least begin less littler than forgive it is most sane and sunly and more it cannot die than all the sky which only is higher than the sky
  35. 35. Humorous poetry is based on tropes. Here are some examples from Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends • Jimmy Jet and His TV Set (28-29) • Smart (35) • Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout (70-71) • The Dirtiest Man in the World (96-97) • Lazy Jane (87) 35
  36. 36. “Three Blind Mice” Featuring Taryn Nilsen, Our Grand Daughter 36
  37. 37. The Best Poetic Trope: Deadpan Humor Mary Maxwell’s Deadpan Prayer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPFCn3itBFE 37
  38. 38. In Conclusion, Here are Some Examples of Nonsense Verse, Often in the form of Song Lyrics 99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, If one of those bottles should happen to fall, 98 bottles of beer on the wall…. 99 people lying in the bed, 99 people, and one of them said, “Roll over.” They all rolled over, and one rolled out. 98 people lyling in the bed…. I went up one set of stairs Just like me. I went up another set of stairs Just like me. I went up a third set of stairs Just like me. And I saw a monkey Just like me. 38
  39. 39. I saw a rotten banana. I one it. I two it. I three it. I four it. I five it. I six it. I seven it. I eight it. (or I jumped over it and you ate it) I belong to a secret organization, and I can authorize you to join. But you must chant with me the secret incantation: “Owaa taagoo Siam.” There are also jump-rope rhymes, And counting rhymes, Can you think of other types of folk poetry? 39
  40. 40. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham. Would you like them here or there? I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere. I do not like lGreen eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am. Would you like them in a house? Would you like them with a mouse? I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them Anywhere I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I-am. 40
  41. 41. “Would you like to swing on a star?” Would you like to swing on a star, Carry moonbeams home in a jar, And be better off than you are, Or would you rather be a mule. A mule is an animal with long funny ears. He kicks up at anything he hears. His back is brawny, but his brain is weak. He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak, And by the way, if you hate to go to school, You may grow up to be a mule. 41
  42. 42. Or would you like to swing on a star, Carry moonbeams home in a jar, And be better off than you are, Or would you rather be a pig? A pig is an animal with dirt on his face. Its feet are a terrible disgrace. He has no manners when it eats its food. He’s fat and sloppy, and extremely rude, But if you don’t care a feather or a fig, You may grow up to be a pig. 42
  43. 43. Or would you like to swing on a star, Carry moonbeams home in a jar, And be better off than you are, Or would you rather be a fish? A fish won’t do anything but swim in a brook. He can’t write his name, or read a book. To fool the people is his only thought And though he’s slippery, he still gets caught, But then if that sort of life is what you wish, You may grow up to be a fish 43
  44. 44. Mairzy Doats Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you. Now if the words sound queer and funny to your ear, Just a little bit jumbled up and jivey, Sing, “Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, And little teeny lambs eat ivy. Oh, Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you. Say! A kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you. 44
  45. 45. Ditties and Jingles in Advertising Oh I’d love to be an Oscar Meyer Wiener. That is what I really want to be, Cause if I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener, Then everyone would be in love with me. Everybody doesn’t like something, But nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee. Call Roto Rooter, that’s the name, And away goes trouble, down the drain. I’m a Pepper; she’s a Pepper; Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too? 45
  46. 46. Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow. Meow Mix: Cats ask for it by name. M’m M’m Good, M’m M’m Good. That’s what Campbell’s Soups are, M’m M’m Good. I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony, I’d like to bye the world a Coke and keep it company. It’s the real thing. Coca Cola is Coke. 46
  47. 47. Double your pleasure. Double your fun, With double good, double good, Doublemint Doublemint gum. Two all beef patties, special lettuce, Cheese, pickles, onions On a sesame seed bun. Big Mac, I’m lovin’ it. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. When You say Budweiser, You’ve said it all. 47