~R.M. Engelhardt, talking about poetry slams
Poetic fun from the Netherlands, Wales, and the medieval era today.
StAnzaPoetry shared this on Twitter:
At a Dutch poetry slam and they are genuinely voting with tulips.
It gets better: when they were down to two finalists, the audience members gave their tulip to their favourite poet, and the one with the largest bouquet won!
Apparently this is standard in the Netherlands, but normally the flowers are roses.
Did you know that May 14th is Dylan Thomas Day? In Dylan Thomas' radio drama Under Milk Wood, the audience gets a glimpse of the dreams and private thoughts of the inhabitants of a fictional Welsh fishing village called Llareggub ("bugger all" backwards). (Note: "Bugger all" is a rude/informal way to say "nothing")
In addition to celebrations of Dylan Thomas, in Wales you can also find the gravestone of John Renie who died in 1832 at age 33. The gravestone features a 285-letter acrostic puzzle which is reputed to read 'here lies John Renie' in 46,000 different ways.
Our last bit today is about a song of sixpence. Actually THE song of sixpence -- it seems like it's nonsensical, but actually has a grain of truth to it! Here's how it goes, in case you've forgotten:
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish,
To set before the king.
The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird
And pecked off her nose.
That was the version I knew, but apparently sometimes this ending verses are used:
They sent for the king's doctor,
who sewed it on again;
He sewed it on so neatly,
the seam was never seen.
There was such a commotion,
that little Jenny wren
Flew down into the garden,
and put it back again.
History Undressed explains that in medieval times, pies were different. They were thicker, and you could bake a crust "pot" and lid and then put live birds (or rabbits, frogs, dogs, or poetry-reciting dwarves) in so they could fly/jump out and entertain your guests. (Some of these "pot pies" must have been enormous!)
Jama's Alphabet Soup has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jama! Maybe Jama has talked about bird pies before?
Last call for the Summer Poem Swap! I have heard from a lot of people already and am eager to make the chart!