Odes To Roger Ebert, Ed Koch, Van Cliburn, & “Dear Abby” Columnist Pauline Phillips

This week’s Style Invitational features the witty winning entries in its contest for poems that commemorate people who died in 2013. Here are my non-winning ditties about Roger Ebert, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, concert pianist Van Cliburn, and “Dear Abby” columnist Pauline Phillips:

Roger Ebert:

For films that were plums,
Way up went his thumbs.
When downward they’d roam,
You’d know to stay home.


Mayor Edward Koch:

This mayor rescued NYC
From near-financial ruin;
Ed Koch his name, his fav’rite game
Was asking “How’m I doin’?”


Pauline Friedman Phillips a/k/a Abigail Van Buren:

“Dear Abby” was her column
Telling readers what to do.
Give your friends that very counsel?
That’s an act you’ll surely rue.


Van Cliburn:

In a world-wide Moscow contest
Van Cliburn sure impressed.
But this USA pianist
Had the piano judges stressed.

They felt that he deserved to win
And so with trepidation
They asked Nikita, “Can we please
Give Cliburn top ovation?”

Mr. Khrushchev gave an answer
That surprised them. It was wise:
“If Van Cliburn played the very best,
Then give that man first prize.”

So a classical musician
Helped achieve a cold war thaw:
An American in Russia
Playing piano past a draw.

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One Response to “Odes To Roger Ebert, Ed Koch, Van Cliburn, & “Dear Abby” Columnist Pauline Phillips”

  1. Jim Delaney says:

    “Dear Abby” was her column,
    And advice was found therein,
    But not for feuding sisters —
    Ann Landers was her twin.