‘The Poor Poet, Carl Spitzweg, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Our task this past week in Writing Group has been to grapple with the sonnet form. What goes around comes around, and I was reminded of an early attempt I made to create a Pushkin sonnet. Now that’s a fiendishly difficult form, with its ‘feminine’ and contrasting ‘masculine’ rhyme scheme. Looking back on my effort, I got a sense of deep feeling by the end but the specific subject matter was rather arcane and inaccessible. One member of the group had thought my sonnet was about a beginning love affair between a vampire and victim! Hmmm, maybe there’s something in that.

So for this week’s assignment, I thought I’d stick to a safer format: Shakespearean, and classic iambic pentameter. I did two attempts, in earnest mode, and we shall see what the Writing Group members think of them. But for whatever reason, a thought suddenly sprang into my addled brain, late yesterday afternoon, and we laughed and laughed over dinner at the eventual result. It’s possible too that we were already laughing over the lyrics to ‘Barry and Freda (Let’s Do It),’ Victoria Woods’ delightful celebration of middle-age.

I know that humour is a brilliant way into joy, and so I thought I would share this little piece, which I think does chime rather well with today’s image (Thanks WikiMedia!), or perhaps I’ve managed to find an image that chimes rather well with the sonnet! Incidentally, it’s in iambic tetrameter, with a simpler aabb rhyme scheme, so perhaps not quite the classic Shakespearean format, but I think that’s okay, really, for a throw-away laugh.

In a chilly garret, a poet despairs

The devil doesn’t want my soul —
I offered it — please take it whole —
he said he’d pass; he had some sass
‘There’s others better I could ask.’
I loitered there, the crossroads bare
What other bargain might be fair?
For fame and fortune, what’s enough?
I thought my soul was worthy stuff!

But souls are merely just a pale
reflection of the poet’s tale
and talent is the currency
for which they’d trade influency —
so my poor strengths at last I see
can’t even buy me infamy.

3 responses to “Humoresque”

  1. Reminded of the Carry On quote Infamy infamy


  2. Aye, I was probably channeling Kenneth Williams for the humour! Also, I know ‘influency’ isn’t a word, but I think it should be, these days!


    1. When I was young right through to now we never knew an instagram influencer would be a career option


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