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Old 12-31-2017, 06:14 PM
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Tony Barnstone Tony Barnstone is offline
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Default Post Your Parody Poems, Please!

Hi Folks,

I am collecting good parodies of great poems for a survey of English and American literature I'm teaching (1750- present day). I've found quite a few online, such as G.K. Chesterton's hilarious spoof of Walt Whitman (I'll post it below), but am thinking that many of you have ones you wouldn't mind sharing with the students. If so, please post them below!

Best, Tony

G. K. Chesterton pretending to be Walt Whitman
This is the third section in Chesterton’s poem “Variations on an Air,” which is first a parody of Tennyson, then of Yeats, and then of Whitman:

Me clairvoyant,
Me conscious of you, old camarado,
Needing no telescope, lorgnette, field-glass, opera-glass, myopic pince-nez,
Me piercing two thousand years with eye naked and not ashamed;
The crown cannot hide you from me,
Musty old feudal-heraldic trappings cannot hide you from me,
I perceive that you drink.
(I am drinking with you. I am as drunk as you are.)
I see you are inhaling tobacco, puffing, smoking, spitting
(I do not object to your spitting),
You prophetic of American largeness,
You anticipating the broad masculine manners of these States;
I see in you also there are movements, tremors, tears, desire for the melodious,
I salute your three violinists, endlessly making vibrations,
Rigid, relentless, capable of going on for ever;
They play my accompaniment; but I shall take no notice of any accompaniment
I myself am a complete orchestra.
So long.

And here is Annie Finch on some other Whitman parodies: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/har...itman-parodies
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:32 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Emily to Walt

O vatic Walt, you loom so large—
A One-Man multitude—
An Ark—an overflowing Barge
Of Infinitude!

O Walt of whitecaps, Waves of Words—
My Quaint small vessels, tightly
Measured, sail in minor worlds,
But yours—through cyclones—Mighty.

O Skipper Walt! You sing of bathers—
Lovers and beloved—
Frolicking near sandy shores,
All welcomed—none refused.

O Walt, who shouts the Yes of Being
From your Mainmast’s top—
I can’t contain my Querying
Of your—Barbaric—Yawp!



Walt to Emily

O Emily, anomaly, you sing There is no frigate like a book,
And, Exultation is the going / Of an inland soul to sea!

Please climb aboard the good ship Whitman. . . .set sail
From home. . . . Song of Myself your chart and sextant.

Though recluse you have, methinks, imagined Wild nights!
In roiling seas. . . .When your life had stood a loaded gun?

Discharge! Load your lungs with earth and sun to yelp and yawp
Of cherished freedoms. . . . shoot truth straight, not slant!

You survey what I see, my macroscopic views. . . . beneath
Your microscopic lens! My ocean is your dusty pond. . . .
Is that gaze a squint?

Closer I approach you, Em. . . .breathing into, warming ears,
teasing, whispering, “With widened eyes, you’d see the oceanic
swells and surges. . . .feel Spirit pulsing, pummeling our senses.”

Ah, you note my eight and twenty bathers, men and women. Are you,
Sweet Emily-of-empathy, the twenty-ninth? Splashing, frolicking
Intermingling limbs with us. . . .but dry behind your cabin’s porthole?

Dive! Brave the floods of flesh. . . . waves of blood, currents of souls,
Submerge, merge, emerge. . . .See that my craft, like yours, is true.
Hear me. Dive in and play.

I will exult in you. . . .


from Amsterdam Quarterly and later in Ghost Trees

per his 1855, first edition, using ellipsis throughout
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Last edited by RCL; 12-31-2017 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:21 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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An Irish Chicken Avoids Her Death

I think that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere beyond the yellow line;
Those that I flee I do not hate
Though they would wash me down with wine;
I hope they will not feel the loss,
Nor do I wish to leave them poor,
But when I found a road to cross
I knew that I could stay no more.
Nor rice, nor gravy bade my flight,
Nor barbecues, nor marinades,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove my fear of sharpened blades;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
It seemed a shame to die as meat,
And so I left the farm behind,
And that is why I crossed the street.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:23 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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THE CROSSING
with apologies to Theodore Roethke

I cross the street, and try not to be slow.
I am a chicken with a chicken’s fear.
The farmer ate my mother. Time to go.

We live by running. What is there to know?
They seized my mom and cut her ear to ear.
I cross the street, and try not to be slow.

Of those who guard the hen house, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall run swiftly there.
The farmer ate my mother. Time to go.

We yearn to flee; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm and I make quite a pair.
I cross the street, and try not to be slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; but slaughter is not fair.
The farmer ate my mother. Time to go.

This running makes me nervous. I should know.
What roasts my skin is always. And is near.
I cross the street, and try not to be slow.
The farmer ate my mother. Time to go.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:29 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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THE WEB IS TOO MUCH WITH US

The Web is too much with us, late and soon.
Clicking and sending, we lay waste our powers.
Little we see in cyberspace that’s ours.
We have given our blogs away, a sordid boon.
This browser that consumes our afternoon,
This screen at which we sit for countless hours
Googling aimlessly through birds and flowers,
Our speakers blaring some downloaded tune,
They move us not. — Great God! I’d rather be
A luddite suckled in some chipless bourne
So might I, far from plastic mouse or key,
Dismiss the Worldwide Web with holy scorn,
Not click on every banner ad I see
Or spend my days and nights exploring porn.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:07 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
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Kim and ISIS

Some say the world will end with Kim,
Some say with ISIS.
From what I’ve heard of Jong-un’s whim
I hold with those who favor him.
But if it perished twice from crisis,
I know enough of maddened hate
To say that for destruction ISIS
Is also great
And sure suffices.
f

Last edited by Erik Olson; 01-01-2018 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:16 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Lady and the Swine
After W. B. Yeats, “Leda and the Swan”

A sudden grab: the Swine’s snout steaming still.
Atop the Lady, her tender ribs suppressed,
He slams her with his practiced brutal skill,
His massive chest a hammer on her breast.

No way can youthful loins and forearms push
Away the formless fat that’s twice her size.
How can the Lady in a blubbery rush
Avoid his pounding belly bacon, thighs?

His bulbous hams and hocks enfolding her,
Tic-Tack breath, the popping eyes and leer
Abuse her dignity.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSo screwed up,
So pummeled by the Swine, his brain hot air,
She knows her sisters soon will end his power,
That as the POTUS, this is his last shtup.
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Last edited by RCL; 12-31-2017 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:20 PM
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To a Poor Old Yeoman

sucking a thumb in
the field a filthy one
of them in his mouth

It tastes foul to him
It tastes foul
to him. It tastes
foul to him

You can see it by
the way he gives himself
to the filthy nail
still dark with dirt

Uncomforted
a cursing of raw thumbs
seeming to fill the field
It tastes foul to him
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:29 PM
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After Emily Dickinson: I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -

I heard a Buzzing – when I Died -

I heard a Buzzing - when I Died -
The Stillness at your End
And Scowl appearing on my Skype
Meant - my Lies - must end.

Your Blue eyes blinking on the Screen
Were desert dry - I Mean -
If Looks could - Kill - I’d surely die
Because you thought me mean.

I made Excuses, pled I’d meant
I Love no one but - you -
And added, Your Twin sister said
It - wouldn’t - bother You!

Then Reflected on my screen -
Your Twin’s face covered Yours -
She sweetly - Smiled - and raised a Buzzing
Saw - Electric - yours?!
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:34 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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The last lines of the stanzas should be deeply intended, as in Poe's original.

The Parrot

…naturally, a parrot, in the first instance, suggested itself, but was superceded forthwith by a Raven… —Poe, "The Philosophy of Composition"

Once upon a noon-time awful, as I pondered some unlawful
Business with the neighbor's daughter, maybe on the kitchen floor—
Suddenly there came a knocking, which I felt was somewhat shocking
Since I live in an apartment that has never had a door;
Lazy super never even bothered to put in a door,
Just a doorway, nothing more.

Knocking should have set me thinking, but the fact is I'd been drinking,
And by noon was damn-near stinking, stinking like a barroom whore,
So I thought it the creation of my sopped imagination,
Addled, sopped imagination, which I'd learned to just ignore—
Till the knocking came again, which startled me and made me pour
On my trousers and the floor.

"This is strange," said I, "and scary. I had best be still and wary"—
Talking to myself a habit, once I've drunk a touch or more—
"Surely this must be some spirit. I'll stay put and not go near it.
'Tis no self-deceit;—I hear it, knocking, knocking, o'er and o'er,
And 'tis frightening to imagine what the fiend must have in store—
Knocking where there is no door."

Gazing then upon the curtain, for a moment yet uncertain,
Till again there came a knocking, somewhat louder than before,
Suddenly I saw my blunder—in a flash of brilliance under—
Stood, exclaiming, "O! no wonder! Got it. Now I know the score:
Someone's knocking at my window, up here on the fifteenth floor.
(Better pour myself some more.)"

Open, though, I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter
In there flew a gaudy Parrot, circling then my chamber o'er.
Ghostly shone the near-fluorescence of its feathers—the quintessence
Of some evil spirit's essence—feathers it was shedding. "You're
Dirtying my nice neat chamber. Beat it, Evil Bird!" I swore.
(Sloppy spirits make me sore!)

All my soul within me reeling—suddenly I shook the feeling;
Hey—I told myself—Relax! What's this to get excited for?
So some tattered, tired, sorry bird flew to the fifteenth story—
So it looks like Peter Lorre; don't let's go and panic or
Make a scene about some stupid Parrot perched above the door—
Just a Parrot, nothing more.

Then the Parrot, sly attacker, as the afternoon grew blacker,
Spouted, "Polly want a cracker," and I had to laugh at how
Its request came out so clearly, sounding as if it sincerely
Understood the words, quite nearly human-sounding, I avow—
How I laughed to hear the creature with such grace its words endow!
Quoth the Parrot, "Cracker. Now!"

Now my friends, my former backers, all believe that I've gone crackers,
Though the truth is that I'm just as sane as e'er I was before,
But that Parrot, ne'er retreating, still is eating, still is eating,
Pausing only for repeating "Polly want a cracker" or
Pecking at me as I stand here where there ought to be a door,
Feeding crackers evermore.
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