You Can’t Have Poetry without Poe

A contrived poem created from lines of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems.

The idea for this compilation came from Luisa’s blog, her post The Poet

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;–

From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone —

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.

Undulating Silence

My friend and fellow blogger, Luisa Zambrotta, shared the following poem from Spanish poet Federico García Lorca:

The Silence

Listen, my child, to the silence.
It’s an undulating silence,
a silence
that brings valleys and echoes down
and bows foreheads
to the ground.
(Translated by Scott Keeney)

Undulating Silence

Many days I seek the silence
like wilting flowers seek
restorative water,
parched at the end of a dry spell

This morning I tried
to meditate on the phrase
undulating silence
but the tinnitus
made the silence
seem like the 
false waves you hear
when you listen
to a seashell

This is not the fault of the poet
or the poem's message
but the false cognizance
of a body's
misinterpreting
the mind's intent.

English Language Pondering

From a forwarded email

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE PHILOSOPHY OF AMBIGUITY, AS WELL AS THE IDIOSYNCRASIES OF ENGLISH:
 
1. ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA ….. FLOOR.
 
2. ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.
 
3. IF MAN EVOLVED FROM MONKEYS AND APES, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?
 
4. THE MAIN REASON THAT SANTA IS SO JOLLY IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE ALL THE BAD GIRLS LIVE.
 
5. I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, “WHERE’S THE SELF-HELP SECTION?” SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.
 
6. WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?
 
7. IF A DEAF CHILD SIGNS SWEAR WORDS, DOES HIS MOTHER WASH HIS HANDS WITH SOAP?
 
8. IF SOMEONE WITH MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES THREATENS TO KILL HIMSELF, IS IT CONSIDERED A HOSTAGE SITUATION?
 
9. IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?
 
10. WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO “GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?”
 
11 WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?
 
12. IF A PARSLEY FARMER IS SUED, CAN THEY GARNISH HIS WAGES?
 
13. WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?
 
14. WHY DO THEY LOCK GAS STATION BATHROOMS? ARE THEY AFRAID SOMEONE WILL BREAK IN AND CLEAN THEM?
 
15. IF A TURTLE DOESN’T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED?
 
16. CAN VEGETARIANS EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS?
 
17. IF THE POLICE ARREST A MUTE, DO THEY TELL HIM HE HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT?
 
18. WHY DO THEY PUT BRAILLE ON THE DRIVE-THROUGH BANK MACHINES?
 
19. HOW DO THEY GET DEER TO CROSS THE ROAD ONLY AT THOSE YELLOW ROAD SIGNS?
 
20. WHAT WAS THE BEST THING BEFORE SLICED BREAD?
 
21. ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.
 
22. DOES THE LITTLE MERMAID WEAR AN ALGEBRA?
(This one took me a minute)
 
23. DO INFANTS ENJOY INFANCY AS MUCH AS ADULTS ENJOY ADULTERY?
 
24. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR?
 
25. IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?
 
26. IF YOU ATE BOTH PASTA AND ANTIPASTO, WOULD YOU STILL BE HUNGRY?
 
27. IF YOU TRY TO FAIL, AND SUCCEED, WHICH HAVE YOU DONE?
 
28. WHOSE CRUEL IDEA WAS IT FOR THE WORD ‘LISP’ TO HAVE ‘S’ IN IT?
 
29. WHY ARE HEMORRHOIDS CALLED “HEMORRHOIDS” INSTEAD OF “ASSTEROIDS?”
 
30. WHY IS IT CALLED TOURIST SEASON IF WE CAN’T SHOOT AT THEM?
 
31. WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON SOUR CREAM?
 
32. CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD?

Tom Swifties

Yesterday’s post on Mister Completely clued me into the observation that many people do not know what a Tom Swifty is.

From Wikipedia A Tom Swifty (or Tom Swiftie) is a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed. Tom Swifties may be considered a type of wellerism.[1] The standard syntax is for the quoted sentence to be first, followed by the description of the act of speaking. The hypothetical speaker is usually, by convention, called “Tom” (or “he” or “she”). The name comes from the Tom Swift series of books (1910–present), similar in many ways to the better-known Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, and, like them, produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In this series, the young scientist hero underwent adventures involving rocket ships, ray-guns and other things he had invented.

It is the one form of wordplay where adverbs rule!


A Tom Swifty is a play on words taking the form of a quotation ascribed to Tom and followed by an adverb. Here’s a good example:

“The thermostat is set too high,” said Tom heatedly.

From Merriam-Webster

Here are some Tom Swifties I remember from childhood.

“Let’s make coffee,” she said instantly.

“Fetch the stick,” he said doggedly.

“You kicked me,” he said hurtly.

Share your Tom Swifties in the comments section.

Catholic Vocabulary

From a forwarded email.

Catholic Vocabulary List


  This information is for Catholics only. It must not be divulged to non-Catholics. The less they know about our rituals and top-secret code words, the better off they are. 


AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
 
BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending Mass.
 
CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Parish to lip-sync.
 
HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY. Created by boiling the HELL out of it.
 
HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range.
 
RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.
 
INCENSE: Holy Smoke!
 
JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams.
 
JONAH: The original ‘Jaws’ story.

 
KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava.
 
MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.
 
MANGER: Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn’t covered by an HMO.
 
PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches.
 
PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners looking for seats.
 
RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.
 
RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.
 
TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.
 
USHERS: The only people in the parish who don’t know the seating capacity of a pew.
 
 
Little known facts about the Catholic Churches in Las Vegas :
 
There are more churches in Las Vegas than casinos.   During Sunday services at the offertory,some worshipers contribute casino chips as opposed to cash. Some are sharing their winnings – some are hoping to win.   Since they get chips from so many different casinos, and they are worth money, the Catholic churches are required to send all the chips into the diocese for sorting.   Once sorted into the respective casino chips, one junior priest takes the chips and makes the rounds to the casinos turning chips into cash. 

And he, of course, is known as The Chip  Monk.   

Thoughts on Life

From a forwarded email

Subject:Fwd: Some Thoughts on Life….you need to laugh out loud several times a day…..I did!!

.

The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in any language is priceless.

Be decisive.  Right or wrong, make a decision.  The road is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.

Happiness is not having to set the alarm clock.

“The starting pay is $40,000.  Later it can go up to $80,000.” Great.  I’ll start later.”

Trust science.  Studies show that if your parents didn’t have children there’s a high probability you won’t either.

If you’re not called crazy when you start something new, then you’re not thinking big enough.

Only in math problems can you buy 60 cantaloupe melons and no one asks, “What the Hell is wrong with you?”

When the pool re-opens, due to social distancing rules, there will be no water in lanes 1, 3, and 5.

Tip: Save business cards of people you don’t like.  If you ever hit a parked car accidentally, just write, “Sorry” on the back and leave it on the windshield

When I get a headache I take two aspirin and keep away from children just like the bottle says.

Just once, I want the username and password prompt to say, “Close enough.”

Becoming an adult is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, but no atmosphere.

If you see me talking to myself, just move along.  I’m self-employed.  We’re having a meeting.

“Your call is very important to us.  Please enjoy this 40 minute flute solo”.

I envy people who grow old gracefully.  They age like a fine wine. I’m ageing like milk: Getting sour and chunky.

Does anyone else have a plastic bag full of plastic bags, or is it just me?

I hate it when I can’t figure out how to operate the iPad and my tech support guy is asleep.   He’s 5 and it’s past his bedtime.  Today’s 3 year-olds can switch on laptops and open their favorite apps.  When I was 3, I ate mud.

Tip for a successful marriage: Don’t ask your wife when dinner will be ready while she’s mowing the lawn.

So, you drive across town to a gym to walk on a treadmill?

Say what?

Thoughts from Old People

From a forwarded email

I very quietly confided to my best friend that I was having an affair. She turned to me and asked, ‘Are you having it catered’? And that, my friend, is the definition of ‘OLD’! ~ ~ ~

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, ‘How old was your husband?’ ’98,’ she replied: ‘Two years older than me’ ‘So you’re 96,’ the undertaker commented. She responded, ‘Hardly worth going home, is it?’ ~ ~ ~

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: ‘And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?’ the reporter asked. She simply replied, ‘No peer pressure.’ ~ ~ ~

I’ve sure gotten old! I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes I’m half blind, can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can’t remember if I’m 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my Florida driver’s license
. ~ ~ ~

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour.. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over. ~ ~ ~
An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. ‘Wal-Mart?’ the preacher exclaimed. ‘Why Wal-Mart?’ ‘Then I’ll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.’ ~ ~ ~

My memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. ~ ~ ~ Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out. ~ ~ ~

It’s scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker. ~ ~ ~

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, ‘For fast relief.’ ~ ~ ~

THE SENILITY PRAYER: Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference. ~ ~ ~

Now, I think you’re supposed to share this with 5 or 6, maybe 10 others. Oh heck, give it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are! ~ ~ ~

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: I don’t want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.