POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

INFORM POETS – PARODY POEMS

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes… (Apologies to Bowie)

The Wednesday form prompt will have a slightly different title from here on out. The hyphen is on permanent hiatus. It reflects the teaching (or How-To) aspect of what this spot was intended to do… teach new structured forms of poetry. Here we will “inform” poets of the many forms available for our expression.

The first form of this revamped undertaking, is a revisitation to a form from November 2012. Parodies take many variations. Mel Brooks did wonderful movies that mimicked (and sometimes mocked) horror movies (Young Frankenstein), silent movies (Silent Movie), Alfred Hitchcock (High Anxiety) and the western movies (Blazing Saddles). Take “Weird” Al Yankovic’s body of work in song parody. The man has made a career out of this form quite nicely.

As poets, there are times we are inspired by another poet’s work, or the musings of a classic poet, causing us to use humor and wit to transform our work akin to theirs. 

Choose a poem or a song lyric (musical poetry) that inspires you.

Take note of the style and tonal qualities of your selection. Is there a specified rhyme scheme? Is there a repetition to it? Meter or cadence? A parody will mimic all of these.

The subject of the new poem should be 180° from the original. We’re going for a different poem (based on a tried and true poem or lyric). It should be playful and not of a harsh nature.

Read your poem aloud. Does it remind you of the original work in rhythm and flow. Does it make you chuckle? If so, you’re on the right track.

Let’s write Parody Poems.

****ADMINISTRATOR’S NOTE****

Parodies are slotted in the realm of fair use in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court. This means that written works such as parodies (poems/songs) are considered as commentary or criticism and are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Be mindful that transformative works (parodies) need to change the original work in a substantial enough way as to not be considered plagiarized.

WALT’S PARODY:

BOXING DAY

Christmas day,
that’s when Santa Claus comes out to play,
bringing toys that won’t be put away…
I’ll be relieved it’s Boxing Day.

By the tree
all the needles will fall out on me,
sticking to the sap that’s stuck on me,
I’ll be relieved it’s Boxing Day.

Why it had to snow, I’m not sure that I could say,
it just feels all wrong, Christmas’ gone, it’s Boxing Day-yay-yay-yay…

New Year’s Day,
seems more than a week away,
and one full year ’til Christmas Day
so we can relive Boxing Day,
oh I’m relieved it’s Boxing Day!

(c) Copyright 2014 – Walter J Wojtanik

(A parody of the Beatles song, “Yesterday” by Lennon/McCartney)

Another example of a parody poem is presented on my blog, “Through the Eye’s of a Poet’s Heart”, entitled “The Rhyme of the Poet Laureate” which parodies Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. For the strong hearted, this spans all seven parts of Coleridge’s original.

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102 thoughts on “INFORM POETS – PARODY POEMS

  1. William Preston on said:

    NO, NOT ME (Based on Aura Lea)

    When the black cat hunched to spring `neath the willow tree
    wrentit in the tree took wing, singing, “No, not me.
    No, not me; no, not me; you can crouch all day
    till your claws turn to jelly and your fur turns grey.”

    (Chorus)
    Cat, go flee; cat, go flee; find your prey elsewhere;
    you will eat, but no, not me, that’s my fervent prayer.

    Then the cat looked all around `neath that willow tree
    till he heard a squeaky sound chirping fitfully:
    “No, not me; no, not me; leave us voles alone;
    we are not fair game for thee, and we taste like stone.”

    But the cat said to the vole, “You are quite a treat;
    I will eat most all of thee, save thy dirty feet.”
    Then he launched into the air, toward that wisp of sound
    till he landed gracefully on the barren ground.

    (Chorus)
    Cat, go flee; cat, go flee; find your prey elsewhere.
    You will eat, but no, not me, Go, and chew on air.

    NB: Aura Lea is so old, it’s likely not under copyright anymore, but many may know its melody as Love Me Tender, which was Elvis Presley’s parody, I believe.

  2. Wm Preston on said:

    Walt, I read your parody of the Coleridge poem, and just wanted to express my admiration. It’s massive (as I guess it had to be) and masterful work.

  3. (Apologies to William Carlos Williams)
    The Cast Iron Skillet

    so much depends
    upon

    a cast iron
    skillet

    hot, a’hiss
    with grease

    beside the dredged
    chicken.

  4. SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY

    She walks in beauty, Pennsylvania,
    Like the night is safe and who would harm her
    In this one-horse town deep in the sticks,
    Far from the stone faces of city dwellers
    Who insist Beauty is skin-deep, Beauty
    Resides in the eyes of beholders.
    To that she will disagree and swear you this:
    “Beauty is a joy forever, here still
    In an unpretentious corner of an
    America grown too presumptuous,
    A town halted in long ago time
    where my granddaddy hoed the soil,
    Sowed seeds and dreams, reaped golden harvests
    Of so many blesséd seasons that he believed
    Himself as native as the Indians
    Who led their tribes across the Bering Strait.”
    You tell her Beauty is fleeting; it will not last,
    Which she ignores, sets her jaw tight as marble,
    Then loose again. “Oh, the heroes of Beauty!”
    She exclaims. “Beneath this soil lie both
    Granddaddies who fell at Gettysburg.
    I am not afraid.I tell you this:
    Beauty is as Beauty does.I walk, I run,
    I graft my skin and bones, my soul– all I am
    To this land of Beauty, this last stronghold
    In a country fallen out of grace with innocence.”

    #

  5. This is beautiful and has a true and powerful ending.

  6. RJ Clarken on said:

    Walt – this is such fun! Loved your parody, too!

    Okay…here’s my musical attempt:

    Over the Speed Bump (with apologies to E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen

    Somewhere over a speed bump, in some lot,
    my car hit really hard and now my suspension’s shot.
    Somewhere over that speed bump, ‘though I tried
    to slow down, it was futile and now I have no ride.

    Someday I’ll wish upon a star
    but there will be no brand new car for poor me.
    And even junkers? Can’t afford. No Civic, Kia or Accord…
    that’s life if you’re me.

    Somewhere over the speed bump, my car flew.
    Cars are cursed by those speed bumps; I think I want to sue.
    Somewhere over this speed bump, my car ceased.
    Now, I need no mechanic: rather, just send a priest.

    If speed bumps were to go away, I’d be so happy…
    but that’s not today.

    ###

    • Marjory MT on said:

      FUN- I could sing along with this one.
      ( and I have 7 nasty speed bumps to cross between my house and the public road.)

    • elishevasmom on said:

      About 25 years ago, I had been without a car for about a decade. My new one was a standard (which I much prefer), but in a hurry, I fairly flew over a speed bump, and the jolt of landing knocked the car into neutral. The engine was revving away, but not going anywhere. It took a few minutes before I realized what had happened. Whew!

  7. RJ Clarken on said:

    Sorry, I think I posted to fast, and sent an earlier version. Here’s the correct version:

    Over the Speed Bump (with apologies to E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen)

    Somewhere over a speed bump, in some lot,
    my car hit really hard and now my suspension’s shot.
    Somewhere over that speed bump, ‘though I tried
    to slow down, it was futile and now I have no ride.

    Someday I’ll wish upon a star
    but there will be no brand new car for poor me.
    And even used cars? Can’t afford. No Civic, Kia or Accord…
    that’s life if you’re me.

    Somewhere over the speed bump, my car flew.
    Cars are cursed by those speed bumps; I think I want to sue.
    Somewhere over this speed bump, my car ceased.
    Now, I need no mechanic: rather, just send a priest.

    If speed bumps were to go away, I’d be so happy…
    but that’s not today.

    ###

  8. RJ Clarken on said:

    That’s ‘too’ fast. Dang. Suffering from snow-brain, I think.

  9. COOK THE BIRD (Jailhouse Rock)

    One Thanksgiving Day, it was a while ago,
    people got together with a festive glow.
    They didn’t have a clue about what they would see.
    It didn’t take them long to turn around and flee.
    That bird came out looking absurd.
    Through the night, a hail of screams were heard
    when Susan tried to cook the bird.

    Loading up the turkey with some uncooked corn,
    the novice in the kitchen looked a bit forlorn.
    The bird began exploding from the inner strain.
    It shot out of the oven through the window pane.
    That bird came out looking absurd.
    Through the night, a hail of screams were heard
    when Susan tried to cook the bird.

    Burning poultry sailed across the autumn sky,
    dropping bombs of drumsticks, then a wing and thigh.
    It flew just like a skier in Olympic Games,
    soaring through the air, it’s butt encased in flames.
    That bird came out looking absurd.
    Through the night, a hail of screams were heard
    when Susan tried to cook the bird.

    Susan tried to cook the bird.
    Susan tried to cook the bird.
    Though they weren’t dying,
    the guests were crying
    when she cooked the bird.

    © Susan Schoeffield

    (with heartfelt apologies to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Elvis, and all who know their way around a kitchen)

  10. flashpoetguy on said:

    APOLOGIES TO “READY TEDDY” SONG

    Unsteady, Ted, I can’t go.
    I got arthritis in my big toe.
    unsteady, unsteady, I can’t go
    I got arthritis in my big toe.

    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    Too unsteady, unsteady to rock ’n’ roll

    Goin’ to the drugstore, pick up my Tylenol
    This ain’t no time to rock ‘n’ roll.
    Two pills for the pain maybe might do the trick
    If it don’t I’ll be lyin’ here, hurtin’ real sick.

    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    Too unsteady, unsteady to rock ’n’ roll

    I sure miss the days when I was thin and had hair
    I’d kick up my heels, go dancing’ everywhere
    These crazy feet would burn up the floor
    But with my arthritis I can’t lindy no more

    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    Too unsteady, unsteady to rock ’n’ roll

    Going to the drugstore, pick up my Tylenol
    This ain’t no time to rock ‘n’ roll.

    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    Too unsteady, unsteady to rock ’n’ roll

    I sure miss the days when I was thin and had hair
    I’d kick up my heels, go dancin everywhere
    These crazy feet would burn up the floor
    But with my arthritis I can’t lindy no more

    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    Too unsteady, unsteady to rock ’n’ roll

    Gonna kick off my slippers, soak my toes in the tub
    Ask my honey Sharon to give them a rub
    I stumble to the left, I stumble to the right
    Gonna dream of the days I danced every night

    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    I’m unsteady, unsteady, Teddy
    Too unsteady, unsteady to rock ’n’ roll

    #

    Based on song “Ready Teddy” by Robert Blackwell and John Marascalco

  11. RJ Clarken on said:

    One more musical attempt…

    Drive Me to the Store (with apologies to Cole Porter)

    Drive me to the store
    And let me buy some milk and bread.
    Hope the shelves aren’t empty now –
    ’cause that is what I dread.

    In other words, forecast’s snow.
    In other words, status quo.

    Fill my cart with food
    and let me pay with debit card.
    Let me check out quickly
    ‘fore snow comes down too hard.

    In other words, My car…where??!!
    In other words, get a flare.

    I’m stuck in this lot
    and here I’ll stay forever more
    as the snow piles up.
    ‘Til spring, at least – of that I’m sure.

    In other words, Shiver (me.)
    So, the next time? Delivery.

    ###

  12. Walt, what a great parody of “Yesterday” and so appropriate since you are Santa Claus! “The Rhyme of the Poet Laureate” is stunning. Yours is an incredible gift.

  13. I’m not sure if I have the form right, but I’ve tried.

    DIRTY FACE (based on a poem by Shel Silverstein)

    Where did you get such a dirty face,
    My darling dirty-faced child?
     
    I got it from making pies in the dirt
    And making pirate flags from Daddy’s shirt.
    I got it from playing I guess and suppose
    And digging for buried treasure with my nose.
    I got it from exploring really dark cave
    And pretending that I was really brave.

    But I wash up quite well with a bar of soap,
    Up to my chin in hot suds for a soak.
    I’ll pretend I’m a duck doing the quackstroke,
    And then I’ll roll over and pretend I can float.
    I’ll wash my ears and maybe even my throat,
    But I can’t guarantee that I won’t scream NOPE!

    Note: The first stanza is completely Shel Silverstein, the second is changed, and the third is my own.

  14. Pingback: Form: Parody – Dirty Face | The Chalk Hills Journal

  15. My attempt, this is a parody of a parody, “Just Eat It” by Weird Al Yankovic, and this is my attempt:

    “Just Wing It”

    This always happens when my favorite song’s on
    I want to belt it out, want to sing along
    But I don’t know the words, the lyric’s all wrong
    So wing it, just wing it

    Make up a melody, hum to the beat
    If you can’t remember, then just tap your feet
    When your favorite tune plays, fake it and repeat
    Just wing it

    Go on act like a fool
    Just wing it, wing it, wing it
    Open up your mouth and sing it
    Whistle the Dixie, play your hand like a drum
    It doesn’t matter, the volume’s turned up
    Just wing it, wing it, just wing it, wing it, ooh!

    Next time the music’s on and your brain is on hold
    Turn the speakers up, and go for gold
    Follow this advice, it’ fool proof I’m told
    So wing it
    Just wing it, wing it, wing it, ooh!

  16. Oops, title is “Eat It” and my title is “Wing It”

  17. Marjory MT on said:

    “Tis the Last Snow of Winter” by Marjory Thompson
    [‘Tis the Last Rose of Summer, by Thomas Moore]

    The winter’s land is quiet
    ‘neath fresh fallen snow;
    but comes alive with flakes the
    morning sun set glow;
    Rippling waves like fairy dust
    caught-up on a breeze;
    spread, sparkling diamonds to grow
    then settles with ease.

    Children shatter stillness of
    winter’s last snow fall;
    Racing to gather memories
    with each thrown snow-ball;
    Full of youthfull energy,
    living on the run;
    Building forts ‘neath trees where the
    snow’s hidden from sun.

    To time-warp as kings and hero’s
    in some distant land;
    Battling for what is right with
    Robin Hood’s fair band.
    Warmth of the midday sun comes to
    steal the last snow flake;
    Adventurers head home for
    cookies mothers make.

  18. Now you know something else about me -I’m a geek.
    Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne

    Make it So!

    Oh, space travel often is frightful
    but the Enterprise is delightful
    with Picard we’ll boldly go
    Make it so! Make it so! Make it so!

    And we’re going to planets distant
    at hyper-speed in an instant
    with Geordi in engineering
    Make it so! Make it so! Make it so!

    Number One helps out in a pinch
    when problems arise on the ship
    he’s cool and calm, he doesn’t flinch
    and Deanna Troi thinks he’s hip.

    The show has run its course now
    but, my dear, I love it and how
    so just show the reruns, yes, show
    Make it so! Make it so! Make it so!

  19. elishevasmom on said:

    This is a re-write of a piece I did last summer. My creative juices are more like cold oatmeal.

    Summertime (Editor’s Cut)
    (that noise in the background is probably
    George Gershwin turning in his grave)

    Summertime
    and the driving’s expensive,
    gas prices jumping
    with no end in sight.

    Oh your daddy’s rich
    or he wouldn’t be driving,
    all of the day
    and half of the night.

    One of these mornings,
    you’re going to get your license,
    and you’ll grab your keys
    to hit the road,

    but can’t take the wheels,
    ’til you find yourself a job,
    to carry your part
    of the ga-a-so-line load.

    Ellen Knight 1.22.14
    write a poem parody

    • Wm Preston on said:

      I’ve enjoyed this thoroughly, and I think Gershwin would like it too. He had a sense of humor, from what I’ve read, although he could be a bit full of himself, apparently. One reason I like it so much is that I tried the same thing; I think I posted it on this site sometime last summer. Given the cold that has affected so many, this might seem sadistic now:

      BUMMERTIME
      (Apologies to the Gershwins and DuBose Heyward)

      Summertime,
      and the livin’ ain’t easy;
      days so sultry
      that I’ve wanted to cry.

      The heat is thick
      and the river is steamin’
      and harsh drippin’ sunshine
      dries the rye.

      Most of these mornings
      I’ve had to rise up sweatin’,
      then I spread my arms
      and I plead to the sky,

      please send me a morning
      when the clouds will confound you,
      so summertime I can say good-bye.

      Summertime,
      but there’s autumn a-comin’,
      with pumpkins grinnin’
      and the frost on the rye;

      each mornin’ rich
      with a palate of color,
      and that’s gonna be here
      by and by.

    • Great job, Ellen! It’s not cheap to drive, that’s for sure!

  20. elishevasmom on said:

    Will, what a nice block and parry. 😉

  21. Age Under Moonlight

    Come a bit closer
    so you can hear
    what I have to say,
    and I will not have
    to shout. When we
    were younger
    we could dance
    a night away
    under a full moon.
    Now, you cannot hear
    the music, and I can
    barely see the moon.
    Still, it is getting late–
    nearly eight–and we
    are not too old
    to celebrate.

    (based on Harvest Moon, by Neil Young)

  22. I was listening to “Harvest Moon” while reading this. It fits in well with the original. Great job, Sara!

  23. Sorry I’m so tardy to the party. Bronchitis is back and breathing is a challenge. Nevertheless, looking at the snow, this strange melody arrived today and so I went with it for my parody. Once long ago as an undergraduate, an entertainer came to UNC campus with a sort of song and dance to poetry, much of it Robert Frost’s. My favorite was “Stopping by the Woods” done to the tune of Hernando’s Hideaway. Here’s my try.

    Hernando’s Home Remedy

    The snow lies thick, the trees are glazed
    The sky is blue and seems unfazed.
    The coffee’s hot, the Lord be praised
    We’ll watch as daylight slips away.

    We’ll sit and stare at winter’s blush,
    We’ll feed the birds who never hush
    We’ll teach our loyal dogs to mush,
    And dance to firelight’s shadow play.

    (chorus)
    How can we know how slow the snow will surely melt away?
    (It could be never or it could be in a day)
    Did we prepare if there is more, a cold front on the way?
    (We have to pace ourselves, the sky is somewhat gray)
    We only know this scene is like a Currier and Ives
    (the shadows on the snow can make you feel alive)
    It’s cold. Why scold? We’re fine. More wine?

    The woods are lovely (gray as clay)
    But we’re inside (let’s stay that way)
    And wait until snow’s gone away
    And make our home a hideaway.

  24. connielpeters on said:

    Zip-lining Today

    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
    We’re going to go zip-lining today
    Flying high in the town of Skagway
    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

    Mr. Mountain Guide at my shoulder
    Looking forward to such a delight
    Would be great if I could stand the height
    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
    Now, I think, is a good time to pray

    Looking down on a small world below
    As I stand here way up in this tree
    Ready to take deep breaths and a leap
    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
    My eyes are closed and I’m headed your way

    So I’ve been there and got the tee shirt
    And I’ve got to say, it’s only fair.
    I think I’m done walking in thin air
    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
    I can think of other ways to play

    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
    I’m all done zip-lining today
    I flew high in the town of Skagway
    Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

  25. T’was the Night Before Super-bowl…

    T’was the night before Super-bowl; all through the house
    Cushions were collected for the floor by the couch
    The big screen was polished with uttermost care
    Then turned to be certain there would be no glare
    For t’would be a sad pity to miss carelessly
    The touch-down that clinches the Vince Lombardi trophy
    While mama makes chili and brownies and bread
    Visions of Broncos celebrating danced in her head
    She was fussing over last-minute touches a bit
    Making sure everyone would have somewhere to sit
    When there rose in the next room a most horrible clatter
    And she rushed in to see what awful thing was the matter
    The room weighed with dread of an impending storm
    Though the furniture glistened in fresh polished charm
    There was more to the ominous, electric air
    ‘cause Dad, he was perched on the edge of his chair
    He looked like a cross between bear and giraffe
    While son was nigh purple from trying not to laugh
    So with hands on her hips she demanded, ‘say, tell
    What could be the reason for such a blood-curdling yell
    Why the neighbors must wonder ‘bout the crazies next door’
    And ‘for goodness sakes will someone tell me, why the roar?’
    Then Senior stood up with an ominous growl
    While son couldn’t help it; he began to howl
    With laughter, incensing the victim of rage
    Papa circled like a tiger prepared to sprint from his cage
    Then he roared, I have failed as a father, Miz Mox
    My son is a fan of the Seattle Sea Hawks
    I fed him and clothed him and taught him to throw
    The long kick, the tackle, interception…you know?
    But tell me how could I have missed this, my dear?
    Somehow I neglected to teach him how to cheer
    His head drooped, shoulders slumped, ire a-spent
    The grandfather clock clucked in tick-tock lament
    When suddenly he rose up to his full middle-age height
    ‘By junipers’, he shouted, ‘everything is all right!
    Bring on the nachos and chili, my friends
    Because tomorrow night here is where it all ends
    On Manning, on Welker, on Decker, on Koppen
    On Thomas and Caldwell, on Holliday, Johnson
    Bring on the tackle, the rush, the touch-down
    Let Hail Mary pass be the star in your crown
    For son, let me tell you beggars cannot be choosers
    In every game there are winners and losers
    And son, there are lessons each young fan must learn
    Ah victory is sweet, oh yeah, burn baby, burn
    Tomorrow night son, tears will wash your face clean
    When the Broncos win Superbowl 2014

  26. Thank-you. I was cheering for the 49ers so now I’m okay with whoever wins:)

  27. Pingback: Two Parodies | georgeplacepoetry by Debi Swim

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