Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy New year

My sincerest, grateful good wishes
to all of you who read and follow this blog!

May 2018 bring you abundant blessings, 
good health, happiness, and peace!

(And, of course, wonderful poetry—written or read—always enjoyed & inspiring.)

Regular posts will resume on January 13th
so please stay tuned and check back!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Prompt #301 – Happy Holidays!

This week, let’s have a look at language using alternative titles for time-honored Christmas and other seasonal songs. This is just for fun—feel free to copy, paste, and print to enjoy with family members and friends during your holiday celebrations. The answers are posted below after a poetry prompt for this week (but don’t peek until you’ve tried to name all the songs)!


Can You Name These Christmas Carols?

1. Ah, Approach, Everyone Who Is Steadfast (or, Ah, Loyal Followers Advance)

2. Far Off in a Feeder

3. Hey, Minuscule Urban Area of Southwest Jerusalem

4. Icy, the Humanoid Solid Precipitation Sculpture

5. Do You Auscultate As I?

6. Ag Chimes

7.  Ah, Liturgical Evening

8. Individual Visualization of Matriarch Smooching Red-Suited, Sleigh-Driving Guy

9.  God Grant Relaxation to You Jolly Fellows

10. Heavenly Beings from the Areas of Magnificence

11. Arrival at 2400 Hours in Cloudless Weather

12. The Bantam Youthful Male Percussionist

13. Father Christmas is on the Way to the Borough

14. Ecstasy Toward the Planet

15. The Dozen Intervals between Sunrise and Sunset Related to the 25th Day of the 12th Month

16. Us, a Monarchical Trio Who Originated Near the Ascent of Apollo

17. I’m Fantasizing Concerning a Blanched Yuletide

18. The Initial Christmas

19. Noiseless Nocturnal Period

20. Listen, the Foretelling Spirits Harmonize

21. Array the Corridors

22. The Sum of My Yuletide Yearnings is Two Anterior Incisors

23. Query Regarding the Identity of Descendant

24. The Quadruped with the Vermilion Proboscis

25. Frozen Precipitation Command or Allow Crystalline Formations to Descend

26. Ebullient Elderly Saint who was Bishop of Myra

27. Ringing Chimes

28. At This Juncture Arrives the Jolly Old Elf.

29. The Appearance of Christ’s Natal Day is Commencing

30. Ah, Drawing Close Permit Us to Worship Him


This Week's Prompt: Try Writing a Holiday Poem

1. Write about a holiday from your past (dig deeply into family memories).
2. Write a poem in which you compare winter holidays of the past, present, and/or future.
3. Write about seasonal ghosts that haunt you.
4. Write about people from your past who are no longer with you and how that impacts your present holiday season; or, write about one special person with whom you always associate the winter holidays.
5. Write about aspects of winter holiday traditions that remain part of your annual celebrations.
6. Write about the faith and/or cultural aspects of your winter holidays.
7. Write about one unforgettable winter holiday.
8. Write about holiday food treats and how they sweeten your memories.
9. Write about a holiday song that replays in your mind because of its associations (or, write your own words to a Christmas carol or other winter holiday song).
10. Write a poem based on an old Christmas, Hanukkah, or other winter holiday photograph.
11. Write about a historical holiday-time event.
12. Write about a winter holiday yet to come. You might consider a fantasy poem with a futuristic sensibility.


 Christmas Carol Quiz Answers

1. Oh, Come All Ye Faithful
2. Away in A Manger
3. Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem
4. Frosty the Snowman
5. Do You Hear What I Hear?
6. Silver Bells
7. Oh, Holy Night
8. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
9. God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
10. Angels from the Realms of Glory
11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
12. The Little Drummer Boy
13. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
14. Joy to the World
15. The Twelve Days of Christmas
16. We Three Kings of Orient Are
17. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
18. The First Noel
19. Silent Night
20. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
21. Deck the Halls
22. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
23. What Child is This?
24. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
25. Let it Snow
26. Jolly Old St. Nicholas
27. Jingle Bells
28. Here Comes Santa Claus
29. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
30. Oh, Come let Us Adore Him


To All My Blog Readers

I wish all my blog readers happy and healthy holidays and the best blessings of this festive season. May the the coming year bring you good health, much happiness, and all the things that you love! I’ll resume posting on Saturday, January 13, 2018! In the meantime, celebrate the season!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Prompt #300 – The Night Before Christmas Parody

This week, I decided to revisit (and embellish) a seasonal prompt from December 11, 2010. The prompt deals with writing parodies of a well-known poem. Parody is always fun—the imitation of another work, writer, or genre. In poetry, parody is often about burlesquing serious verse for comic or satirical effect. This week, the idea is to write parodies of Clement C. Moore’s famous poem “The Night Before Christmas” (originally titled “A Visit from Saint Nicholas”). 

This poem has delighted both children and adults for many years—and some very funny parodies have been written. These humorous riffs on the Christmas classic are in many ways as entertaining as the original.

The original version of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was anonymously published shortly before Christmas in 1823. As the poem’s popularity grew, several writers claimed to be its author, including Clement Clarke Moore, a classics professor, writer, and friend of author Washington Irving. Written in anapestic tetrameter (four feet of unstressed-unstressed-stressed), the poem’s rhythm and rhyme have made it easy to memorize.

Three of four hand-written copies of the poem are housed in museums (including the New York Historical Society Library). A private collector sold the fourth copy in December 2006; this copy was written and signed by Clement Clarke Moore and given as a gift to a friend in 1860. It was purchased for $280,000 by an unnamed “chief executive officer of a media company.”


1. To begin, read Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas.”

2. Now sample some parodies of the poem. Google "Parodies of the Night before Christmas," and you'll find several online. Note how the parodies imitate the style and form of the original but use different language and meaning to alter the text.

3. Next, think of the content you’d like your poem to contain. Theme? Idea? Think about the examples you read and consider other possibilities. Here are just a few:

The Night Before Christmas (from a Pet’s Point of View)
A Mother’s/Father’s Night Before Christmas
A Poetry Reading the Night Before Christmas
A (Profession Here, Teacher’s, Lawyer’s, Poet’s, Policeman’s) Night Before Christmas
A (Person’s Name Here) Night before Christmas (This Version is about a Particular Person)
The Night Before _________________(Not Christmas, Anything You Wish)

4. When you’ve got an idea in mind, begin writing. You should, of course, model your work after the original while addressing a completely different subject matter. If the Moore poem is longer than you’d like your parody to be, simply write something shorter. Be sure to follow the rhythm and rhyme schemes of the original poem – that is, maintain the sense of music that Moore created. Allusions to Moore’s poem are fun to include.

1. Something that I’ve done over the years is to write “Night Before Christmas” poems for friends and family members. I print and frame them and give them as gifts – they’re fun to write (especially humorous versions), a great way to make friends and family members smile, and an amusing way to share poetry.
2. Have fun with this!

3. As always, you’re invited to post your poems as comments (finished or in draft form) for other blog readers to enjoy.

Example: “Twas the Night before Hanukah”