Thursday, April 05, 2007


From the American Dictionary of the English Language:
"parody, n. 1. A kind of writing in which the words of an author or his thoughts are, by some slight alterations, adapted to a different purpose; a kind of poetical pleasantry, in which verses written on one subject, are altered and applied to another by way of burlesque."
I like parodies. Since I have no creative talent, writing poems or short stories was very difficult for me in school. However, I was able to parody favorite poems (not well, mind you, but feebly enough) to earn a passing grade in whatever class I was in.

Two favorite parodies come from these poetry books in my collection:

"To the Kittens to Make Much of Time" is from Poetry for Cats by Henry Beard and "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" is one of the "Modified Sonnets" by Howard Moss in This Powerful Rhyme, edited by Helen Plotz.

To the Kittens to Make Much of Time (by Robert Herrick's Cat)

Get ye a human while ye may,

When you are still a kitten,

For by a cat too long a stray

Men's hearts are seldom smitten.

The master of yon cozy house

May wed a maid with puppies;

Or set a trap to catch that mouse,

Or buy a bowl of guppies.

Cold rains will soon the summer drown,

And ice will crack the willow;

And though the snow is soft as down,

It makes a chilly pillow.

Then hands that would have stroked your head,

When you came in from prowling,

Will hurl at you a boot instead

To halt your awful howling.

(Robert Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time")

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

Who says you're like one of the dog days?

You're nicer. And better.

Even in May, the weather can be gray,

And a summer sub-let doesn't last forever.

Sometimes the sun's too hot;

Sometimes it is not.

Who can stay young forever?

People break their necks or just drop dead!

But you? Never!

If there's just one condensed reader left

Who can figure out the abridged alphabet,

After you're dead and gone,

In this poem you'll live on!

(William Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?")

[I apologize for the lousy spaces between lines - I've worked all day trying to make the page behave, but Blogger won't co-operate, or I'm a lousy operator... probably the latter.]



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