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Friday, July 22, 2011

Creative Writing Night: Ode Spoofs

LWC loves to have fun on creative writing nights, and this month twenty-one members had fun writing ode spoofs. An ode is a lyrical poem that praises or exalts its subject. An ode usually addresses its subject (a person, place, or thing) directly in a second person POV form.

We used a loose interpretation of the ode to create our exercise. Participants were told they could use as many lines per stanza as they liked, determine their own line length, and choose to use a rhyming pattern or not.

The main goal was to use their own creative flare and to have fun.

Odes tend to be emotionally intense and serious. In our odes, we tamed that drama with a bit of humor. Writers were asked to write an ode to a trivial object they cherished and to start the poem with "O how I love thee [insert object]" or simply "O [insert object]." But being nonconformists, as most great writers are, some chose to go with their own first line - and that's okay, I'm not sore about it or anything.

LWC writers put their heart and soul into these love poems to their cherished objects. The brave and courageous among us chose to share them here for all the world to see. So, please, slip on your silk robe, grab a snifter of fine brandy, and sit back and enjoy.

Disclaimer: On creative writing nights, our writers have twenty minutes to complete their writing prompt. These are not intended to be serious writing efforts but simple brain dumps to expand our writers' minds. These are not proofread, polished, or edited in any way beyond that initial brain dump, so if you are an agent or publisher considering a million-dollar contract with an LWC writer, please do not let this deter you. . . . Oh, and I have a story or two you might want to read - course they're probably already sitting in your slush pile . . .

Ode to A Black Horse
By Jennifer Ballard

Oh how I love thee
my wonderful worthless mare

affectionate when you're not trying to bite me
happy to see me when I have treats
willing to do what I ask, unless you don't want to
careful to keep me balanced on your back
except when you are trying to throw me off

graceful when you are not lame
energetic when you are not obese and unfit
obedient when you're not moody
agreeable when you're not in heat

you are beautiful when you are brushed and groomed
and not languishing mud-covered in a field
expensive to keep even when you are useless
and I dont' have time to spend with you

how you must wish for an owner
who took better care
or could afford to call the vet
to address your most recent lameness
you are always a source of joy and pride to me
and always, always loved.

Ode to a Golf Ball
By Alan Hooper

O how I hate thee,
let me count the ways.
That I have tried to crush thee -
to smash thee -
to cut your hide to ribbons
To search for thee when you were lost, only to find thee,
then have thee veer off in a direction that was not intended
and nestle behind a tree or in a hazard
to make me fume and curse as another shot is lost.

But then the magic that occurred on the par three hole
that made me change my hatred of thee.
That day, that glorious day when I smote thee
and you flew direct and true
straight to the hole on the green in one bounce, and
bingo - my first hole in one,
you wonderful, white round and dimpled
Pro V1 golf ball - par excellance,
no, not even par, not even birdie,
but a soaring eagle.

Ode to My Tomato Cages
By Karen Phillips

O how do I love my
Dear wire towers
that stand majestic
amid red orbs of summer delight.

You provide stability,
oh my dear companions,
to other wonders in my garden.
Cucumbers reach out to cling.
Beans spout up the middle of you.

I press gently each of your arms
Into the earth and wonder.
Who thought you up?
Was it Sam or Mr. Lowe?
Or are you that dear son of Mr. Home?

No matter, my dears.
You last each and every year
from beginning to the very end.
You are the strong backbone
Of my green world.

Ode to My Favorite Books
By Jenn Wiseman

O, my beloved books
You sit so patiently awaiting my undivided attention.
Your musky scent beckons me closer.
Your binding nestles so perfectly into my palm.
Never am I far from your side.

My eyes drink in your every word
filling me with hope as I enter forward into the next adventure.
Pictures and scenes dominate my thoughts
chasing them into the recesses of my mind
where they wait until they are free once again.

Harry Potter, Richard Rahl, Gillian and Christopher
return to greet me as old friends once more.
My time with them is precious.

Anger and frustration
will greet the one who disrupts me from my perfect books.
So beware!
For inside this quiet, shy bookworm lies a dragon!

A Trio of Odes
By Frankie Ren

Ode one:
O how you caress the brown liquid of my life
Keeping it warm to my delight
You understand my need of it's comforting
And you are always there in spite of the staining
Be it warm brown and sweet or black and strong
To you it is never wrong
Each sip I take from you soothes
From you to my mouth it moves
O how others look beyond you
But I could not live without you
My Tea Mug
My Tea Mug

Ode 2:
O from the Golden Arches you came
I often call out your name
McDonald's Diet Coke
Without it I would surely croak

Ode 3:
O how I love thee chocolate
You long to melt into my mouth I bet
But we can not be together
For my pants can not weather
The pounds I would gather
If I eat you even in batter

Ode to Books
By Ross Martin

"O!" My books,
by chance or by crook;
you rest and clutter my shelf and space
but can never be in my life's race.
Never rarely read,
not even when going to bed.
Why you stay where you are I do not know,
for some day to the yard sale you will go.
I promise this as words you own
cannot be read with out a groan.

Ode to Bacon
by Chris Gates

O bacon

You alone are the most alluring of meats
a substantial delight of cul’nary feats
A pork belly cured, enlivened with salt
a flawless dish who possesses no fault

You gather my mornings, piercing the air
I treasure my skillet, finding you there
Some often look past you, relinquished a side
but you center my plate, the anchor of pride

For lunch you lay waiting to be sandwiched in bread
You quiet my day, giving peace to my head
The hours pass by as I relish your taste
A meal had without you I consider a waste

At dinner you’re featured, with your family pork
Embracing sausage or loin, impaled on my fork
I lay down at night, my thoughts captive to you
I drift until morning, bacon carries me through

O how I love thee, bacon my sweet
You are a sole food group, a magical treat

Ode to Lip Balm
By Karen Aldridge

Oh, how I love thee
Burt’s Bees minty lip balm.
The mere application of you
awakens my lips in a fiery burst of ecstasy.
Then, like the touch from a white-hot crush,
fades into a stimulating, cool embrace
that lingers.

If I press my moistened lips to my lover’s skin
will a wave of amplified passion wash over him?
If only for a few minutes,
will he think he’s found his perfect lover—
me and my magical lips.
Maybe I should buy a lifetime supply.

Oh, Burt’s Bees minty lip balm,
those that have come before you—
ChapStick, Blistex, Walgreens generic—
were lousy lip-balm wannabes.
Unable to pleasure me the way you do
when you caress my thirsty lips.

Ode to the Humble Pencil

Oh how I love thee
Little sharp one
Words you can help me
Savor or shun

You can place my thoughts
Upon the pad
You can remove them
Too easily, so sad

No little delete button
Nor backspace one here
Just your little cap
Red rubber so dear

Remove my wrong thoughts
With just a slight stroke
Replace them with other
Thoughts you invoke

Little yellow pencil
Little number two
Stay with me sharpened
Until I am through

Record my thoughts
Intents of my heart
Remove wrong ones
Help me be smart

Whether freshly sharpened
Or chewed to a nub
I will always love you
My friend in this endeavor

Ode to Fast Forwarding TV Commercials
By Ron Billmyer

O how I love thee when I don't have to see thee,
Or even hear thee
Thou art such a waste of valuable time.
Thou art so repetitiously a waste of words and music and pictures.
Although, once in a great while,
You might be entertaining,
You quickly become boring and trite.
O how I love to fast forward through TV commercials!
Oh! Oh! Oh! Let me count the ways.

Ode to Ceramic Cup
By Doug Johnson

Oh how I love the Old Ceramic Cup
How many times has Java filled you?
You're not a crowd pleaser for sure
But none-the-less priceless you be

I dare remember my first glance of you
Your figure is like none other
Your colors match no other . . anything, really
You stand out none the less

You hold a full brew
You cool . . too fast
Your hard . . to wash out
But . . Oh how you last

Pea green and orange are you
No rational for that scheme
Inside being white comforts My soul
You could last . . forever
Or so I've been told

I've saved you from the trash
Many times I recall
I am not sure exactly why
Oh Actually . . I do
You were made as a gift
So . . what else could I do
But . . eternally Love You

Note: Doug took his prompt home to his family who wanted to have a little ode fun with his ceramic cup as well -

His daughter-in-law Julie Johnson wrote "Ode Against the Ugly Mug":

hmmm.....i am no expert at poetry,
barely understand it myself...
i would put this in the same category.
do not understand...
does not compute....
mug does not match color scheme of placemat....
must throw out....
oh, i already tried that....
will come in the middle of the night and try again....
must save the world from ugly mismatched mugs....
this DOES compute....

And his son Michael Johnson wrote:

The mug is green
My wife’s taste, keen
It’s the ugliest porcelain thing I’ve seen
Still history held
In the green orange meld
But what the creator was thinking no one could tell
Perhaps color blind
Or mentally behind
Still all must agree it’s one of a kind
So from it Dad drinks
As he tries to think
Of the mug he sees as a historical link

Doug shared a special treat with us - a picture of the mug which is apparently not loved by all the way it is loved by Doug.

We used this famous ode/sonnet spoof, Litany by Billy Collins, as a bit of inspiration:

Post by: LWC Director, Karen Aldridge. Visit her personal blog at My Writing Loft.

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