Posts filed under “Poetry”


by Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle.

Westward the willows whisper;
     Southward the sycamore;
Eastward the elms grow crisper;
     Northward the banyans roar.

Upward the birch-tree reaches;
     Downward the cypress digs;
Leftward is loud with beeches;
     Rightward is fraught with figs.

Inward the linden grumbles;
     Outward the locust flails;
Softly the sago stumbles;
     Hardly the hemlock hails.

Often the dogwood stammers;
     Seldom the cypress bends;
Always the hornbeam hammers;
     Never the redwood ends.


Dr. Boli has attempted in the past to explain the principles of rhyme. These fits of pedantry are usually brought on by finding some site—an on-line dictionary by Merriam-Webster, for example—that lists rhymes for a certain word, and finding that none of the supposed rhymes rhyme.

Henceforth, however, there will be no need to explain the principles of rhyme again. We have found an explanation of those principles so concise and yet so complete that it can probably never be improved. It comes from the book Rhymes and Meters by Horatio Winslow, most famous as a prolific writer of magazine stories. Here is all you will ever have to know about rhyme.

The rhyme most commonly used in verse is the single rhyme—the rhyme of one syllable. A single rhyme is perfect when the rhymed syllables are accented; when the vowel sounds and the following consonant sounds are identical and when the preceding consonant sounds are different.

“Less” rhymes with “mess” and “caress” but not with “unless,” because in this last case the preceding consonant sounds are the same. It will rhyme with “bless” because the “b” and “l” are so joined that the combined sound differs from the simple “l” of “less.” “Less” does not rhyme with “best” because the “t” makes the concluding consonant sounds unlike. Nor does it rhyme with “abbess” because the accent in this word falls on the first syllable.

A double or triple rhyme follows in construction the rules laid down for the single rhyme. The accents must be alike; the preceding consonants must differ and the vowels and the remaining syllables of the words be identical. “Double” goes perfectly with “trouble” and “bubble,” while “charity,” “clarity” and “rarity” all rhyme.

The spelling of a word does not affect its rhyming use. It is rhymed as it is pronounced. “Move” and “prove” do not rhyme with “love”—all the poets in Christendom to the contrary. Neither does “come” rhyme with “home.” The pronunciation is all in all and that must be decided not by local usage but by some standard authority.


I bring you this bouquet, my dear,
     I place it in your hand.
I think you’re A-okay, my dear.
     I think you’re really grand.
You’re swell, just peachy keen, my dear,
     And adjectives like that.
I tell you what I mean, my dear:
     You really knock me flat.
If I were to describe your kiss,
     I’d say “like vintage wine.”
Which brings me to the point of this:
     Please be my valentine.


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Rumored to be a deliberately lost work of Edgar Allan Poe.

The day I last saw Eleanor, 
     It was the day she died;
Though some say still she walks the moor
Between the hours of three and four
(I don’t know what she does it for)
     Along the banks of Clyde.

The day I last saw Eleanor,
     She sniffed with wounded pride,
And handed me an apple core,
And told me, “Thus far, and no more,”
Concluding, “Now you know the score:
     You will not be my bride.”

The day I last saw Eleanor,
     She strode with purposed stride
Toward the billows’ haughty roar
And strode right past the pimpled shore
Till she was out a mile or more
     And swallowed by the tide.

Long since I left that cursed shore;
     Long since my clothes have dried.
And since my story makes you snore,
I tell you this, and tell no more:
The day I last saw Eleanor,
     It was the day she died.


Poet and novelist Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle had a fortunate escape this week when his office at Duck Hollow University caught fire. The world of literature, however, was not so fortunate. This charred scrap of paper is all that remains of the long poem Mr. Vanderblock-Wheedle had been working on for the last three years.

—to whom
But the groom?
And the broom, I assume.
But still, to resume:
From the dark weeds that bloom
Where the dank shadows loom
Comes the straggling fume of a sickly perfume
In the gloom of my womb-like tomb of a room;
Then something goes boom,
And I flee from my doom,
And I get in my car and I rev it, vroom vroom,
And I step on the pedal and fly—zoom zoom zoom!
And I spill down the hill like a log in a flume,
Vowing never to stop till I get to Khartoum,
And I—

Police and fire investigators say they are proceeding under the assumption that the fire was set deliberately.