Archive for the ‘Celebrations Poetry’ Category

Happy National Clerihew Day! (July 10)

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

I just found out that today (July 10) is National Clerihew Day. What the heck’s a clerihew? It’s a “whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley.”

More specifically, clerihews are four-lines long with an A-A-B-B rhyme scheme and irregular meter. The first line names a person — the subject of the poem.

Here are a couple I’ve written about writers:

Edgar Allen Poe
A writerly bro
Who’s famed for the Raven.
What a scary poem maven!


The author George Orwell
We ought not ignore well;
His writings polemic
Ain’t at all academic.


And here are two about actresses:

Bette Davis
Film joy gave us.
Seduced gals and guys
With Bette Davis Eyes.


Mae West
For life had zest.
Stoked gals and blokes
With “evil” jokes.


(You can find my political clerihews here.)

Happy birthday to George Orwell, born June 25, 1903.

Happy National Poetry Month! (Limerick)

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

April’s a big month for poets — National Poetry Month. This means that instead of simply enjoying spring, poets drive themselves extra crazy by vowing to write a poem a day.

My first April effort was this week’s Limerick-Off challenge. Only 29 poems to go.

Here’s a limerick for Day 2:

Happy National Poetry Month! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

April’s Poetry Month. Say “Hurray,”
As we vow to write verse ev’ry day.
But that promise is hard,
For this limerick-bard.
Cuz, alas, I have nothing to say.

Limerick Ode To The Rubber Band (Patented March 17, 1845)

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

As I mentioned yesterday, the Girl Scouts are celebrating their centennial birthday this week. But that’s just one of many significant occasions this month.

We commemorated International Women’s Day last week. And math fans will be celebrating Pi Day on March 14th. And, of course, just about everyone will be enjoying St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th.

But St. Patrick’s Day has to share its day with a lesser known celebration: On March 17, 1845, Stephen Perry patented the rubber band in England:

Limerick Ode To The Rubber Band
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It’s no stretch to contend this invention
Prevents loss using rubbery tension.
Those elasticized bands–
Loopy tools in our hands!
This retention aid merits ascension.

Happy 100th Birthday To The Girl Scouts (Limerick)

Monday, March 12th, 2012

It’s hard to believe that the Girl Scouts is one century old. Happy centennial anniversary to the Girl Scouts!

Happy 100th Birthday To The Girl Scouts (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I hated the Brownies and Scouting.
They weren’t my thing — there’s no doubting.
But this verse is no jest:
My centennial best
To the Girl Scouts. Today is worth touting.

Valentine’s Day Limerick and Haiku Too

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Yet Another Valentine’s Day Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

St. Valentine’s Day can be risky
Cuz the men folk do tend to get frisky.
And watch out for the pious:
They sure like to try us
Before and yes after their whiskey.

St. Valentine’s Day
may be over in theory–
never in spirit.

Spent Limerick (Limerick-Off Monday)

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same first line. Then you post your limerick here and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

The best submission will be crowned Limerick Of The Week. (Here’s last week’s Limerick Of The Week Winner plus the Honorable Mentions.)

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, and cleverness. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, you can find some helpful resources listed here.)

I’ll announce the Limerick of the Week Winner right before I post next week’s Limerick-Off. So that gives you a full week to submit your clever, polished verse.

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A fellow whose last dime was spent…


A woman whose last dime was spent…

Here’s mine:

Spent Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow whose last dime was spent
On a gal below age of consent
Did nothing illicit,
Though mom was complicit:
‘Twas a “sweet sixteen” birthday event.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please send me an email requesting the alerts. You’ll find my email address on the upper right sidebar, in the “Author” section just below my Limerick-Offs button. Thanks!

Birthday Limerick For Franz Liszt

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Today, October 22, is the birthday of the Hungarian virtuoso pianist/composer/conductor Franz Liszt. Some people consider Liszt to be the world’s first rock star.

Birthday Limerick For Franz Liszt
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The pianist/composer named Liszt
Was as hot as the cancan and twist:
Caused a Beatle-like heat—
Gals would swoon from his beat
And the sounds he produced with each wrist.

Depressing Haiku of the Day

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Labor Day’s coming —
the jobless labor to find
cause to celebrate.

Sorry about the downer haiku. To compensate, here are two old humor columns of mine: Just In Time For Labor Day, Some Job Interview Humor and Working Stiffed.

Mathematical Cat Fight (Happy Tau Day — June 28th)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

When I went to school a zillion years ago, using Pi was a given in math class. So I was astonished to learn that some mathematicians favor using Tau instead. What’s the difference? While Pi’s value is 3.14 plus an endless bunch of post-decimal digits, Tau’s value is double Pi at 6.28 (plus its own post-decimal digits*.) And while Pi is celebrated on March 14th, math fans commemorate Tau on June 28th.

I figured that since I’ve already written Pi a limerick ode in its honor, Tau deserves the same treatment:

Mathematical Cat Fight (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

It seems Pi has a challenger — Wow!
The name of its rival is Tau!
Its value is twice
That of Pi — oh how nice!
“2 Pi R” becomes “Tau R.” Meow!

Happy Tau Day!

* Edited for clarity.

Tasty Limerick

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I’m always looking for fun ways to jumpstart my muse. A new favorite is this Serendipitous Oxymoron writing prompt generator over at the Writing Fix. Just a couple of clicks can pair you up with an amusing or thought-provoking oxymoron. For instance, today it gave me “Tasty Tragedy,” which inspired this limerick:

Tasty Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The baker delivered his cake,
As the bride yelled, “I’ve made a mistake!”
She canceled her vows.
But that cake sure got wows,
As the wedding turned into a wake.

UPDATE: November 26th is National Cake Day.

Happy Limerick Day — May 12th (Acrostic Limerick)

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Every year I like to celebrate Limerick Day (May 12) by writing a limerick in honor of Edward Lear, the father of the limerick. (Here are the two limericks I wrote in Lear’s honor last year.)

Since I’ve recently gotten into writing acrostic limericks, I decided to make things about bit harder on myself and write an acrostic limerick to celebrate Limerick Day (and Lear’s birthday.)

Happy Limerick Day (Acrostic Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Edward Lear should be honored — hooray!
Lim’rick verses he fathered, some say.
Entertained us with wit—
A nonsensical hit.
Remember his birthday — 12 May.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate National Limerick Day, why not try participating in this week’s Limerick-Off?

A Limerick About Nothing

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I just found out that this week (May 1 through May 7) is National Pet Week. So I thought I’d celebrate with a canine limerick:

A Limerick About Nothing
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow who owned a pet dog
Took him out for a walk in the fog.
Soon the man and his hound
Were back home safe and sound,
Where he wrote up their walk on his blog.

UPDATE: Happy “Walking The Dog Day.” (February 22)

Dear Emily Dickinson, Please Forgive Me

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

As part of its National Poetry Month and Poem In Your Pocket Day “Envelope Project” celebrations, New York City is running an Emily Dickinson related poetry contest. Basically, it involves writing your own poems using Dickinson first lines.

Although I didn’t enter the contest (I wasn’t thrilled with its reprint permission form) I chose four Emily Dickinson first lines and wrote four short, whimsical, New York City-inspired poems. Here they are, with Dickinson’s words noted in italics:

I shall keep singing though I’m bad,
and those who hear me shout, “Egad!”
You’ll never see me on Broadway,
unless you mean my street display.


The Cricket sang.
My sleep is done.
I’d sooner hear an engine run.


I started Early–Took my Dog
unleashed — don’t fret —
Just franks and grog.


A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!
I wish sometimes they’d go away.
I much prefer the dark of night
So daylight please, go fly a kite.


Limerick Lament

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Limerick Lament
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There are times that I feel like a tool,
Complying with each lim’rick rule.
So starting today
I refuse to obey.
Don’t believe me? You’re right. April Fool!

(My 2nd National Poetry Month poem, and it’s still April 1st. Yippee!)

Ready, Set, Versify!

Friday, April 1st, 2011

National Poetry Month begins today, April 1st. And so…

Ready, Set, Versify!
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I hope to write a poem a day
this month from April 1 till May.
They won’t be long — they rarely are.
Four lines or five, then au revoir.

No need to worry what’s in store:
My ADD cuts in before
I’ve time to wax verbose, prolix —
I used those last two words for kicks.

(I have lots of information here about National Poetry Month.)

Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

April 1st is coming. Are you excited yet? No, I’m not talking about April Fool’s Day, although that’s pretty cool too. But April 1st is also the start of a month-long celebration of poetry in the U.S.A. — National Poetry Month (not to be confused with World Poetry Day.) Many online poets celebrate by writing a poem each day, and they announce their poetic participation over at NaPoWriMo.

So will I be writing a limerick a day in April? Damn right … with the occasional haiku, tanka, quatrain, or butterfly cinquain thrown in to spice things up. And of course I’ll be posting my weekly Limerick-Offs and Limerick of the Week contests every Sunday or Monday.

Here’s my Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month:

Limerick Ode To National Poetry Month (April 2011)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear poets, it’s time to prepare
For our April-long poetry fair.
We’ll write verse ev’ry day.
Not on Tax Day? Okay.
Just be sure that you read, write, and share.

Here are some good poetry sites that plan to celebrate National Poetry Month in a big way with daily prompts: Big Tent Poetry and Poetic Asides. Additionally, Writers Island will be providing a daily spot to post your April poems. And if that’s not enough, some sites offer daily prompts all year long, such as The Teachers Corner and Dodge Writes.

Moreover, New York City is holding two poetry contests in honor of National Poetry Month: NYC’s second annual Twitter poetry “Poetweet” contest and its “Poem In Your Pocket Day NYC” Facebook page “Envelope Project.”

If you know of any other National Poetry Day events, contests, and/or prompts, feel free to post them here in the comments section. Thanks!

Ode To Breakfast (and a Caffeinated Haiku)

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Did you know that today, March 25th, is International Waffle Day? Me neither. And if you feel compelled to celebrate waffles twice each year, National Waffle Day and the waffle iron patent are celebrated on August 24th.

So why am I telling you this? Because I’m obediently rising to the challenge of writing a poem about breakfast. And I stumbled upon all this waffle nonsense while doing some poetic procrastination.


Ode to Breakfast
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Oatmeal breaks my fast
when I arise,
though it tastes like paste
in breakfast guise.

Why not something else
I don’t despise?
Cuz I hate each choice
those chefs devise.

Waffles, eggs, French toast
grits — some may prize.
But hot oatmeal’s quick.
So enough with the “whys.”


While I’m at it, here’s a haiku about my favorite morning (and afternoon and pretty much all day) beverage:

Coffee never tempts,
but denied cappuccino
then call me verklempt.


UPDATE: October 29 is National Oatmeal Day.

Limerick Ode To World Poetry Day — March 21st

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

So far, March has been a big month for celebratory limericks. I’ve already limericked about International Women’s Day, Daylight Savings Time, Pi Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. And now it’s time for a two-verse limerick celebrating World Poetry Day, which falls on March 21st:

Limerick Ode To World Poetry Day
By Madeleine Begun Kane

On World Poetry Day write some verse,
Or in poetry reading immerse.
Try a lim’rick, haiku,
Sonnet, ode, clerihew —
Something witty, or languid, or terse.

On World Poetry Day have some fun:
Compose quatrains, blank verse, or haibun.
Double dactyl, sestina —
The poet’s arena
Will even permit you to pun.

UPDATE: I discovered and corrected some serious errors on Wikipedia’s World Poetry Day page (Google’s top entry for the World Poetry Day topic.) The most glaring error was made more than a month ago, on February 15th, by someone who apparently was manipulating Wikipedia on behalf of a UK-based “global grocery and general merchandising retailer” named Tesco. All references to UNESCO, which had declared March 21st to be World Poetry Day, had been changed to TESCO.

I was stunned that nobody was monitoring Wikipedia well enough to catch and correct this error, and that it took me, an infrequent Wikipedia user, to fix it.

So let that be a lesson to people who rely on Wikipedia. While it’s often useful, it’s far from the gospel. And if you find errors there, be a good Internet citizen and fix them.

One more thing — I urge all poets and writers who are at all publicity-minded, to create their own Wikipedia page. Here’s mine.

UPDATE 2: Commenter Tilly Bud inspired me to combine my two limericks, turning them into a two-verse limerick. Thanks, Tilly!

Limerick Ode To St. Patrick’s Day — March 17th

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Limerick Ode To St. Patrick’s Day
By Madeleine Begun Kane

On St. Patrick’s Day join in the fun.
We’re all Irish that day — yes, each one.
So wear green, find a pub,
Eat some cabbagy grub,
And until you’ve drunk beer, you ain’t done.

Happy Pi Day — March 14th

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Dear Math Enthusiasts: My apologies for writing this Limerick Ode to Pi one day late. I hope it isn’t too radical for me to defend myself by saying I posted it circa Pi Day. And that I’m just an average (okay … eccentric) math user who often goes off on tangents and spirals out of control. Or are you diametrically opposed to such a rationale?

Don’t like my angle? Okay, I absolutely promise that next year I’ll try to be acutely accurate. But in the meantime, here’s my celebratory verse:

Limerick Ode To Pi
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The 14th of March just went by,
And I failed to commemorate Pi.
Pi is three point one four
And more digits galore.
Next year circle your calendars. Bye.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Sorry for the height of silliness. I figure I should probably stop now, cuz you’ve lost interest and have concluded I’m flipping irrational.

Okay, I’m done now. We’re all squared away. You can count on it.

UPDATE: Here’s my new limerick for Pi Day 2014.