Fred Langa, a techie whose material I read assiduously, recently posted a link to a humorous drawing. Here’s the link to Fred’s blog, which has a link to the drawing, but don’t click it until you finish my post. The title on Fred’s post was a short version of the picture’s caption (which has nothing to do with my post), and the title was metrical in a manner that reminded me of a poem. Here’s the title:
The bedside lamp flew away in a huff.
The name of this kind of meter slips my mind at the moment, but it’s an old way of writing poetry. We see it in the nursery rhyme Four and Twenty Blackbirds and Pease Porridge Hot. It consists of evenly spaced accents with a varying number of unaccented syllables between the accented syllables. Try it on that title, and you’ll get four evenly spaced accents. Now to the poem it reminded me of:
Way down yonder not so very far off
A jaybird died of the whooping cough.
He whooped so hard of that whooping cough
That he whooped his head and his tail clean off!
The poem is supposed to be recited with some complicated hand motions what would be difficult to describe. The motions are best demonstrated, and they make a good activity to warm up a crowd. Write me and I’ll tell you how to do them.
Now I have a confession to make. The title about the bedside lamp didn’t remind me of the jaybird poem right away. After all, all I saw was the title. I saw “bedside” and “huff” and my mind went in its own direction. I immediately thought up a poem rather different from the theme of the humorous drawing. I capitalized to help you see the accented syllables.
the Bedside Lamp flew aWay in a Huff
he Said, “I’ve Seen eNough of this Stuff.”
I’ll Come back in the Morning when the Day is Bright;
I Care not What you guys Do all Night.
(I admit it, I’m bad.) Now I invite You to write a Funny old Poem.