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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 23, 2007 / 8 Menachem-Av, 5767

Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently, I got a very nice computer-generated letter from an outfit called The National Library of Poetry.


"Dear Dave," the letter begins. "Over the past year or so, we have been reviewing the thousands of poems submitted to us, as well as examining the poetic accomplishments of people whose poetry has been featured in various anthologies released by other poetry publishers. After an exhaustive examination of this poetic artistry, The National Library of Poetry has decided to publish a collection of new poems written by THE BEST POETS we have encountered. "I am pleased to tell you, Dave, that you have been selected to appear in this special edition: "Best Poems." … The poem which you will submit for this edition has been accepted for publication sight unseen on the basis of your previous poetic accomplishments."


You talk about feeling honored. It's not every day that a person who does not, technically, write poetry is selected as one of the top poets for a year that has not, technically, occurred yet.


Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking, "Dave, you wienerhead, they don't really think you're a leading poet. They got your name from some mailing list, and they'll publish any drivel you send in because what they REALLY want to do is throw a book together and then sell it to a bunch of pathetic loser wanna-be 'poets' for some absurdly inflated price like $50."


Well, that just shows how much YOU know. Because it turns out that "Best Poems of 1995" is now available at a special pre-publication discount price of just $49.95. But listen to what you get: You get "a superb collection of over 3,000 poems on every topic," as well as "an heirloom quality publication" with "imported French marbleized covers."


I called the number listed on The National Library of Poetry letterhead; a pleasant-sounding woman answered, and I asked her which specific poetic accomplishments of mine the judges had reviewed before selecting me as one of the Best Poets.


"Um," she said, "we don't have that available right now. All that information is closed in a backup file system."


I frankly have had very few poetic accomplishments. I once thought about writing poems for a line of thoughtful greeting cards, but I finished only one, which went:


"Thinking of you
"At this special time
"And hoping your organ
"Removal went fine."


Of course, I have to produce an entirely new poem for "Best Poems of 1995." I asked the woman at The National Library of Poetry if there were any special literary criteria involved; she said the only one was that the poem had to be, quote, "20 lines or less."


I was happy to hear that. If there's one thing I hate, it's a long poem. And if there's another thing I hate, it's a poem wherein the poet refuses to tell you what the hell he's talking about. For example, when I was an English major in college, we spent weeks trying to get a handle on an extremely dense poem called "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot, only to conclude, after endless droning hours of classroom discussion, that the poem was expressing angst about the modern era. I felt like calling Eliot up and saying, "Listen, T.S., the next time you want to express angst, just EXPRESS it, OK? Just say `Yo! I'm feeling some angst over here!'"


I believe that if some of your former big-name poets such as Homer and Milton (neither of whom, to my knowledge, was invited to be in "Best Poems") had observed The National Library of Poetry's 20-line limit, their careers would be in a lot better shape today.


Anyway, I wrote a poem for "Best Poems." I call it, simply, "Love." Here it is:


"O love is a feeling that makes a person strive
"To crank out one of the Best Poems;
"Love is what made Lassie the farm dog run back to the farmhouse to alert little Timmy's farm family whenever little Timmy fell into a dangerous farm pit;
"Love is a feeling that will not go away, like a fungus in your armpit;
"So the bottom line is that there will always be lovers
"Wishing to express their love in an heirloom quality book with imported French marbleized covers;
"Which, at $49.95 a pop multiplied by 3,000 poets
"Works out to gross literary revenues of roughly $150,000, so it's
"A good bet that whoever thought up the idea of publishing this book
"Doesn't care whether this last line rhymes."
I sent this poem in to the folks at The National Library of Poetry.
And T.S., if you send something in, for G-d's sake, keep it simple.

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Previously:

Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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