Yep, I went and did it again: collected the daily doggerels and Shakespeare couplets, and vocab rhymes. Three months' worth--from Dec 2013-Feb 2014. This volume will soon appear on Kindle Direct, and I will let you know when it's available.
Here's the Foreword to the volume ...
doggerel or dogrel (daw-ger-uhl, dog-er-]
1. a. comic or burlesque, and usually loose or irregular in measure.
b. rude; crude; poor.
2. doggerel verse.
— from dictionary.com
The recent death of filmmaker and actor Harold Ramis (February 24, 2014) reminded a lot of us of what I think was his greatest film—Groundhog Day. An obnoxious Bill Murray, playing a dour, disgruntled Pittsburgh TV weather reporter, is stuck in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in several ways. (Ramis shot most of the film in Woodstock, Illinois, by the way.) A blizzard is approaching—and something very odd is going on with Time. When Murray awakens each morning, the radio is playing the same song (Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe”), and that’s not all, of course: Each day duplicates the previous one—with this exception: Bill Murray. He can make changes. And as the film goes along, he begins to improve as a person and to become worthy of the woman he’s fallen in love with. The film’s message is a buoyant one: We can change; we can improve.
I wish I could say the same of Daily Doggerel, now in its fourth installment. Yes, here is yet another repetition in the series I began nearly two years ago—in April 2012. I had started posting to Facebook each day a silly poem about … whatever. Things I’d seen—or was thinking about—or had done—or read—or laughed or cried about. After a few months, I realized I had enough material for a collection. And, with Kindle Direct around, why not?
Soon I was also adding—every day—a couplet based on the word-of-the-day from my Page-a-Day Calendar (Workman Publishing), the word always coming from the previous day. (Hey, I need a little time to think!)
And then, a bit later, on September 1, 2013, I also started a long project: summarizing each play by Shakespeare, in the (probable) order that he wrote them, in a daily series of couplets—all in iambic pentameter, the Bard’s usual poetic line. (That is the only way that we are similar, Will and I.) It takes me twenty to thirty days to get through each play. So, at that rate, it will be several years before I finish. Isn’t that something to get excited about?
And, just recently, I’ve begun a series of daily quatrains based on the ways we use body parts for metaphorical purposes (all are rated “G,” by the way)—knuckle under and a hairy experience and eye candy and the like. So some of those pieces are also here.
As has been my custom, I have arranged things thematically—putting the vocabulary and Shakespeare poems and “body-part poems” in their own sections. And I have also removed those pieces that horrified me as I re-read them. I mean, most of the pieces do that (Did I really write that?), but some, even more than others, emit an odor of rot as I re-read them, so I select-and-delete. And thereby convince myself that they never really happened. (Don’t we wish other aspects of our lives were so easy to dispatch?)
I have some faithful—or perverted? demented?—friends on Facebook who “like” these efforts every day, and you can blame them for my continuing production. Actually, I have found this whole thing to be a lot of fun—and I hope you can find something to enjoy in the ensuing pages. Lord knows, there’s enough of it!
By the way, the Oxford English Dictionary speculates that the origin of the word doggerel may be just what you think: from the word dog. The OED also traces the word—not the dog, not the poetry—back to Chaucer. So I remain in good company.
February 28, 2014