Warning, this post may include tedium. This is particularly true for overseas readers who may not recognise any of the names.
I was intending to write some political limericks last week, but haven’t been firing on all cylinders after being ill. A limerick, with five lines, two rhymes (AABBA) and anapestic meter is trickier than it looks. Even when my brain is replete with fish and purring like a sardine-stuffed cat, questions of metre have a tendency to take the shine off my day.
The answer I adopted, in line with my normal policy of lowering standards to match results, is to cut out all the difficult bits. That would suggest a clerihew, a form often used to make fun of famous figures. The rhymes are easy (AABB) and it has a sensibly easy-going view of line length and metre.
Gave a poll lead away
She lost her majority
and offended her sorority
Rhymes with next to nothin’
A beardy, weirdy smarty
Who leads the Labour party
To be fair, I’m not sure how smart he is. As long as it isn’t libellous (and I’m pretty sure that accusing politicians of intelligence is not defamatory) I think I’m in the clear as accuracy doesn’t seem too important in clerihews.
Has a tendency to bang on
About places north of the border
That sound a bit like Mordor
Other parties are available, but I can’t remember the names of any of the leaders.
I then had a look at senryu. They are like haiku but without the rules – no cutting words, no season words and no nature. Seventeen syllables or less. You can include humour and human foibles. They are almost the limerick of Japanese poetry and, apart from throwing a selection of words on the table to see what happens, there can’t be many easier ways to write a poem.
Ripples of applause
A political speech
The sound of lyres
Sorry, it’s a cheap shot but I couldn’t resist.
As for my comment on throwing a selection of words on the table, there is a poet who does that at workshops. I forget her name but she was on Radio Four a couple of weeks ago when it was National Poetry Day. She travels the world with a big bag of words running poetry workshops in a career that makes professional cuddler look almost mainstream.