Posted on April 4, 2013 by Andrea Field
As E. E. Cummings reminds us, “in Just-spring . . . the world is mud-luscious . . . and . . . puddle-wonderful. . . . and the goat-footed balloonMan whistles far and wee.” Inspired by the whimsy of Mr. Cummings’ poetry and the wit of April Jester’s blog posting earlier this week, I offer ACOEL members two bits of verse. When you read them, I hope you hear the balloonMan’s whistle and smile.
First, a sonnet. You may remember from English courses in high school and college that a sonnet is a 14-line poem written in iambic pentameter. A typical rhyming scheme for a sonnet is abab cdcd efef gg. Shakespeare’s sonnets were inspired by love, death, and nature. My sonnet (below) was inspired by the propensity of a certain regulatory agency to charge full steam ahead in doing what it believes is right, regardless of statutory or other obstacles in its path.
How grand to be so certain that you know
Exactly what is wrong and what to do;
To reach your goals straight out – no quid pro quo –
Undaunted there might be another view.
When certain, you can march on undeterr’d
By precedent or by the facts or laws.
No countervailing views need e’er be heard,
Nor far-fetched deadlines ever give you pause.
Just sit and write your rules from iv’ry towers
And justify them based upon the creed
That doing what you “know” is right gives powers
To let yourself go where your hunches lead.
Jump to the finish line, no in-betweens:
The end – to save the world – is worth the means.
And now a limerick or, actually, a string of three limericks. Recall that a limerick is five lines long, it is written in anapestic meter, and it has a strict rhyme scheme: aabba. A true limerick must be humorous and profane, and it should violate some taboo, for example the taboo against actively lobbying for recognition by those who want to be wooed but don’t want to be seen as encouraging such wooing. And just to be clear here, I am indeed using this verse to lobby such a group: the people serving on the august panel that will be determining which ACOEL blog entries from the past year deserve an award. In a blatant attempt to sway that panel and its chair, His Excellency Seth Jaffe, I offer the following.
A Limerick that Blatantly Seeks to Curry Favor
with Those Determining the Best ACOEL Blogs of the Year
This one blogger just wants a top prize,
So she knows she must catch Seth J’s eyes.
He must find that her blog
Has all members agog
With its content, both witty and wise.
The best title award, she can’t win,
For she knows that this year, going in,
Braddock’s blog, “What the Cluck?!”
Has that won. (What the ____?!)
Way to go! You earn’d it, Tricia Finn.
So if winning on merit won’t pay,
She will come up with some other way.
She’ll devote ev’ry breath
To the service of Seth.
Watcha say? Do I win, Mister J?