Text Box: Humour Verse Winners Second Quarter 2014

First: The iPhone and the Clock by Darrell Barnes

Second: Ellie Brown by Alexander Macdonald

Third: Twinned with Rome by Sylvia Fairley

 

Click on the titles to read the three winning poems.

 

Judge’s Report for the second quarter of the humour verse competition 2014 from Barbara Scott-Emmett

It is always a pleasure to read through the verses included on the long list and there were several more that I would have included on the shortlist, if only it was possible. Making my final choices from the shortlist was also difficult, as there were so many good poems to choose from.

 

1st: The iPhone and the Clock

I knew The iPhone and the Clock was a winner the first time I read it. I love the Chaucerian language and the way it is subverted by the mention of modern technology. The line, ‘The one kept stille, the other went ticke-tocke’ made me laugh out loud. The use of strong language spelled in a mediaeval way is also funny. The joke culminates in the old saw about a stopped clock being right twice a day and this is made more amusing by the language it is couched in.

 

The clever use of cod old English in this piece appeals intellectually and requires just a little more of the reader. The rhyme scheme is terza rima (aba bcb cdc etc) as used by Chaucer, Dante and others, and is unusual enough to add interest and enliven the verse. This is a very cleverly  constructed poem that delights on first and subsequent readings.

 

2nd: Ellie Brown

Modern technology also features in my choice for second place. I picked Ellie Brown because again I appreciated the way it harked back to an earlier type of work. Strongly remincent of the Ruthless Rhymes and Verse and Worse of Harry Graham such as The Bath – which is well worth a read for anyone interested in humorous verse –  it relies for its punch on the gruesome downfall of poor Ellie Brown. I particularly like the way the shortened sixth line adds an afterthought to the main part of each verse, increasing the sense of ridiculousness. We can guess from the start that things aren’t going to go well for the mobile-obsessed Ellie and sure enough, we are not disappointed.

 

3rd: Twinned with Rome

What I like about my third choice Twinned with Rome is the way it alludes to the myth of Romulus and Remus but does not feel the need to fully explain it. Rather than spell out the story of the pair being brought up by wolves it tells us ‘we applied to join the cubs’. Similarly, the reference to Nero is slid past us in ‘checking no one’s on the fiddle, or the city might get burnt’. The lines jog along pleasantly and the use of a couple of Latin tags adds to the amusement value. Another very satisfying verse.

 

Well done to the three winners. I hope you will all keep on writing humorous poems and providing enjoyment for your readers. Commiserations to all those who didn’t make it on this occasion. Better luck next time.

 

We now regularly receive several hundred entries each quarter, so those making the long and short lists should feel very proud.

 

Shortlist in alphabetical order

 

Bloomsbury? Artistic Temper-ament by Ophir Catling

Crimea River by Claire Demaine

Ellie Brown by Alexander Macdonald

King John Rules OK by Sharon Boyle

Love among the Veg by Elizabeth Smith

Mayhem in the Produce Tent by Martin Parker

Social Media Rap by Aileen Shirra

The iPhone and the Clock by Darrell Barnes

Top Tenuous by Dee Gaynor

Twinned with Rome by Sylvia Fairley

 

Long list in alphabetical order

 

A Prayer for Planners by Bryan Thomas

Before the Workshop by Diana Brodie

Bird’s Eye View by Janet Jenkins

Bloomsbury? Artistic Temper-ament by Ophir Catling

Crimea River by Claire Demaine

Down with Duvets by Catherine Foster

Ellie Brown by Alexander Macdonald

Every Dog has its Day by Catherine Foster

Exam Howlers  by Susanna Clayson

Haiku Fairytales by Susanna Clayson

King John Rules OK by Sharon Boyle

Love among the Veg by Elizabeth Smith

Lover Cover  by Susanna Clayson

Mayhem in the Produce Tent by Martin Parker

Modigliani’s Model by Janet Jenkins

Rollmop by Brian Allgar

Signing Off by Peter Jones

Social Media Rap by Aileen Shirra

Stoking for a Date by Philip L Ward

The iPhone and the Clock by Darrell Barnes

The Wrong Kind of Snow by Andrew Thomas

The Xenolith by Brian Allgar

Top Tenuous by Dee Gaynor

Twinned with Rome by Sylvia Fairley

Untitled by Anne Wilks