Liza McAlister Williams: Tin Ears

Like many enterprises bold
Modelled on Herculean accomplishments of old,
Like many copies of original genius
Attempted by the lowly and mean of us,
Light verse often does not succeed
No matter how promising its seed
Of thought. It doesn’t flower
Because we seem to have lost our language power.
Many many are the pitfalls
From ten-pound cannon to sticky spitballs:
Inverted syntax, iffy grammar,
Misshapen thoughts in fancy dresses,
Miscounted stresses
That make one wince like a thumb under a hammer.
Bumpy rhythm, scandalous scansion
Is worse even than bulging waistline expansion.
It is an age of dubious rhymes, uncalled-for breaks in
Lines, inadvertent omissions, unconscious repetitions, not to mention colloquial contradictions,
Contractions, and improbable fictions,
Attempted humor that elicits skeptical reactions,
Words painful as molar impactions,
And general musical disability.
It’s possible there might even be
Folks who wouldn’t see this as a parody.