LIGHT VERSE

writing light verseObjective

To create a piece of light verse.

Starting

Light verse aims primarily to entertain, and needs to be written in an everyday conversational style. Rhyme is usually expected, and certainly some deftness, polish and wit.

The starting point is usually a rhyming couplet or stanza that comes in the midst of thinking about something else, in this case, about spam emails:

I am the teen dot commie,
I am the best of breed:
Just picture my bonhomie
In every pitch you read.

Can't write, can't spell, can't do my sums,
But hey, then, what the heck?
From every banner click there comes
A great big wacking check.

You sure will hear from me

First Draft

We first develop the opening couple of lines:

I am the teen dot commie,
I am the best of breed:
My course will turn the money
It's super-guaranteed.

Imagine workmates complaining
As you show your boss the door.
Imagine for years it raining
Down cash and chicks and more.

In a month or two you'll be smiling
On that gleaming car or yacht,
New house, new holidays, new styling:
You're assured the lot.

It's hard, I know, to vet it,
But click the "Buy" tab now:
And should you once regret it,
Well, write yourself — here's how.

Second Draft

What do we think: neat, but a bit thin? Let's incorporate more of our opening jottings and adopt a 4a 3b 4a 3b stanza form:

Trust me: I am the teen dot commie,
I am the best of breed:
Taste the molasses of bonhomie
In every pitch you read.

Can't write, can't spell, can't do my sums,
But hey, man, what the heck?
From every banner click there comes
A great big wacking check.

Just think of that as you look out
On unassuming folk
Who scrimp and save and stay about
As honestly flat broke.

Yes, every moment of the working day
Respectful to the boss,
Pay your tax, sign life away
Inside the dotted box.

But think of office mates complaining
As you show your boss the door.
Imagine for years and years it raining
Down cash and chicks and more.

In a month or two you'd be smiling
On gleaming car or yacht,
New house, new holidays, new styling:
You're assured the lot.

Sure, I know it's hard to vet it,
But click the "Buy" tab now,
And later, suppose you regret it,
Promote yourself: here's how.

Third Draft

Somewhat pedestrian? Yes, the ballad form is not made for subtlety, and the theme is hardly novel. Can we make a less insistent verse closer to the speaking voice? One way is to take something ordinary, not a recognizable verse line, and then compress it and the lines generated into a tight rhyme scheme. Here, starting with Whatever you may think of me, dream on, we get:

Finally Gone

Whatever you may think of me, dream on
through the office, with the quiet clock ticking.
How will you know, or can, if what stops clicking
are the pieces or the memory of me in place?

Is there time, would you think, to snatch a space
in the day between calls and the conferences?
Could you drive round the once just for elevenses,
and be an out-of-dress sort of Santa Claus?

Couldn't we reschedule some of the day's chores,
the grades, the promotions, our own commitments
that shift all night long like vague, shrouded shipments
following our projections, as you said, but never stop?

I have changed hemline, panties and each see-through top;
out of looks that could cut you like a kitchen knife.
I am your siren, your haunting, your seeming wife,
but still you're not listening, only saying because . . .

Darling, you will find the house just as it was,
with the lights on, kids noisy, the food on the table,
only a me you won't notice, as I have been able
for years to be smiling, then absent, now finally gone.

 

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