Archive for the ‘Obit Verse’ Category

Ode To Joan Rivers

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Here’s my non-winning entry into the Washington Post Style Invitational’s obit-poem contest.

Ode To Joan Rivers
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A comic genius died last year.
“A Piece of Work” was she sans peer.
Her edgy style brought rivers of tears
From laughter — not to mention, cheers.

Her plastic surgeons went too far.
She looked (let’s face it) quite bizarre.
A victim of the youth craze? Yup!
To those who’d mock her:”Oh, grow up!”

Joan Rivers Goes Out In Style (Limerick)

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

By all accounts, Joan Rivers’ memorial service was a remarkable affair:

Joan Rivers Goes Out In Style (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Rivers really went out with a bang.
Pipers played, comics joked, singers sang.
And of course there was crying,
As spirits were flying–
The yin of a death … and the yang.

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

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

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.