Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 2013 Poetry Challenge Winners: Parodies

Church Potluck

Parodies and Riffs

Two poems which follow the structure, meter and rhyme scheme of the originals are winners this month. The first is a parody of Robert Frost’s “Stopping By a Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which you can read at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171621.

Stopping By Church on a Snowy Evening

Whose beans these are I think I know.
She brings her famous dish to show
What sets apart her fare from others
Who came to dine despite the snow.

Her many friends might think it queer
To add a cup of homemade beer
Along with ketchup and molasses
For the special potluck of the year.

I walk right past; no beans I take.
To shun her prize must be mistake.
She waves and points, hard to ignore
But farts occur should I partake.

The tables are lovely, full and deep:
Salads, lasagna, meatballs I heap,
And more to choose before I sleep,
And more to choose before I sleep.

~ Loraine Brink

This poem was first published in N.E.W. Voices, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Spring-Summer, 2013).

Loraine Brink lives in Ephraim, Wisconsin. She says she is “a light-hearted poet” who sometimes she likes to titillate her reader. Her goal is to never be boring.

A Parody of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Julia Ward Howe is also a winner this month. You can read the words of the original hymn at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19669. The poet did not include a chorus in her submission, but you could sing the original chorus, just substituting the last line of a stanza for the last line of the original chorus.

Battle Hymn of the Republic: a Parody

My eyes have seen the glory of the resurrected Ford,
GM and the auto chiefs, their might will be restored
If we loosen up our bank accounts, buy what we can't afford
Our strength will march right on.

We've been through fiscal perils you wouldn't have believed
If you grew up in the '50s when we mixed our wants with needs.
So now that we're all going broke let's go back in history.
Our strength will march right on.

I try to buy American, it's the best stuff, this is true.
And now I work two low-pay jobs just to make things do,
'Cause the price of gas is the real boss no matter what you do.
Our strength will march right on.

I read the Wall Street gospels and dream of better days.
Mutuals and investments are the way go today
Sure, I can't read a Prospectus,  ut I guess that is okay.
Our strength will march right on.

Got nothing 'gainst the U.S. Fed and all those Wall Street kings.
They bring us to those fiscal cliffs, and keep life interesting,
But I'm getting kinda old now and I'm looking for some bling.
Our strength will march right on.

Oh, the thrill of clipping coupons and discount store shopping!
Where's the travel and security I hoped when retiring?
Nickeled, dimed and interest rates ever dwindling.
But my strength, it will march on.

So someone build a coupe sedan with a really big car mirror,
One that shows us where we've been, and gets us outta here.
The past ain't never quite the past, we all gotta learn to steer
And our strength will march right on.

~ Sheila Elliott

Sheila Elliott is a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society as well as several other writing groups.  This is her second appearance in Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge. 

Riffs – Another Kind of Parody

When I posted the challenge to write a parody, I should have provided a clear definition of what I was expecting. A parody, as I understand it, is a poem written in the style of another poem, using its structure, meter and rhyme scheme (if any). I received both parodies and poems which seem to me to be more riffs off a famous poem—responding to the content of the poem, but not mimicking the structure, meter and rhyme. I selected a winner from among these riff poems.  Marilyn Taylor’s poem is a rhymed and metered humorous response to Carl Sandburg’s short—and serious—poem, “Fog.” Most critics classify Sandburg’s poem either as free verse or an “American haiku.” You can read Sandburg’s little gem at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174299. Marilyn’s poem is humorous. Anyone who has read “Fog” by Carl Sandburg will immediately recognize Taylor’s reliance on Sandburg.


The fog comes in much like a kitty,
checking out our mousy city;
then, without a single meow,
slinks away to find some chow.

~ Marilyn L. Taylor

Marilyn Taylor served as Poet Laureate of Milwaukee (2004-05) and of Wisconsin (2009-10), and is a popular teacher of poetry. She is the author of six collections of poetry, including Going Wrong. For a number of years, she wrote a regular poetry feature for The Writer. You can read more about her at http://www.mlt-poet.com/ and numerous other sites on the Internet.

Please remember that the poets have intellectual property rights—i.e., copyright on their poems. Share the link to this blog, but please don’t reprint the poems without permission of the poets.

Check back early in November to see what the new poetry challenge will be. 

Happy writing!

© Wilda Morris