Is Iambic Pentameter a contagious disease?

By Steele Coddington | April 28, 2010

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steeleToday, for the benefit of the many deprived, super intelligent, government indoctrinated kids out there in rapidly diminishing poetry land, we’ll forego our usual doctorate level entertainment and focus on a lesson in poetry. Why? Because kids in the 8th to 12th grades have been forcibly mandated by our government to learn math and science regardless of skill or interest in those subjects. Meanwhile the gentle art of poetry if not entirely excluded from the curriculum, is purposefully relegated to Rodney Dangerfield status. Therefore, with other revolutionary professors of the Poetry Underground Foundation, we are subversively inciting poetry learning in America with secret indoctrination classes.

The danger of not teaching poetry was woefully demonstrated recently by an ignorant multiculturist California School Board, who defended their banning of classical poetry courses on the grounds that iambic pentameter was a contagious disease. What gross incompetence. Everyone knows that iambic pentameter is a line of verse consisting of five metrical feet, etc, etc, consisting of two dactyls, one long followed by two short in quantitative meter, etc, etc. But in the underground, we say, “to hell with that nonsense.”

We teach, using the Latin motto, “Discimus agere agendo” meaning, “We learn to do by doing.” For example, we start by teaching kids that initially poetry is simply rhyming – like this – “It’s easy to rhyme at any time.” “There’s no excuse to not produce.” “Good grief, once you’re started there’s no relief.” “You’re really smart once you start.” Such episodes are called rhyming bursts and kids respond with their own creations like these latest from our class: “If you go to jail, I’ll pay your bail.” “If you need help, give me a yelp.” A hot dog without a bun is not much fun.” “I love you a bunch, but if you kiss me without permission, I’ll give you a punch.”

We next graduate to examples of actual rhyming poetry, sometimes even using songs grandparents sing after two drinks at family gatherings (it helps if the kids join in):

“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.
Enjoy yourself while you’re still in the pink.”

Or we let my dog Arbuckle recite his favorite poem from Trees by Joyce Kilmer:
“I think that I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree.”

At this stage the poetry students are really warming up. So we begin introducing them to Keats, Shelley, Marlow, etc. without mentioning iambic pentameter – though a line from Marlow’s poem The Passionate Shepherd to his Love – “Come live with me and be my love” is used to explain the word iambic as well as romantic college invitations. By this time however, the smart-alecks in our class think they know it all. One ten year old student known affectionately as Archibald McLoose, informed us that while he appreciated our class, we may not realize that while growing up, every kid in America recited the most famous classical metered poem every time they felt the urge, while out and about in the neighborhood. And he recited it for us:

“In days of old, when knights were bold,
And toilets weren’t invented,
You dumped your load in the middle of the road
And went home quite contented.”

Well ... sometimes educasun ain’t wurkin tu gud ...

We thanked Archie and revoked his poetic license.

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This one is priceless ...
A lesson to be learned from typing the wrong e-mail address.

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.
Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules so the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her e-mail address, and without realizing his error, sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack.

The widow decided to check her e-mail expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted.

The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: April 21, 2010
I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones.

I've just arrived and have been checked in. I've seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then!!!! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is freaking hot down here!!!!

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Your Horoscope by Madame Bournard

ARIES (MAR. 21 - APRIL 19)
A partner will assist you in a money discussion, which you both need to monitor. Keep an open mind about a possible business venture.

TAURUS (APR. 20 – MAY 20)
Work efforts are praised; your creative expression is appreciated. The Full Moon makes it difficult to have wishes granted that relate to your significant other.

Others around you may be argumentative, but that doesn’t mean you need to join in. Be careful to avoid accidents around the house.

You start out this week with everything going well; then things start going south. You may feel an initial loss but make proper changes and all will go well.

LEO (JULY 23- SEPT. 22)
The Full Moon lights up your domestic sector. It’s a good time to air any differences or ideas, just don’t be ornery. Be around people who are kind and sensitive like you.

VIRGO (AUG. 23 –AUG 22)
It pays to join in and work with a person; combining your efforts will mean a job done well. A secret shared with a partner brings you closer together.

LIBRA (SEPT. 24- OCT.23)
Be true to yourself as you make proper decisions for your future. It is time for you to let people know where you are coming from. Keep an eye on important assets.

SCORPIO (OCT. 23- NOV. 21)
Put your best foot forward, but don’t be too pushy. Just do your job but keep a low profile if you can accomplish both.

If you have issues at home or work, it is time to talk to a good friend to clear the air. Most important is keeping your health strong. Be mindful of counterproductive aggravation.

Tensions are making you want to blow a gasket and lash out; no matter the consequences. Take your lumps. In the end things will feel right.

This week you feel calm, even though much is going on around you and in your life. Find new solutions to problems rather than just dwelling on them.

PISCES (FEB. 19- MAR. 20)
The Full Moon intensifies communications centering on legal matters or travel. Beware of any sudden danger around you; be cautious.