Poetry Corner

I confess without shame that I am not much on poetry. In fact, if the truth be known, I haven’t progressed much beyond the wacky verses of Shel Silverstein, a true genius. I like my poems to rhyme and become perturbed when they don’t.
A particular style of poetry I enjoy is known as “The Little Willie” poems. These first gained prominence in the late 19th century, and there was actually a craze for them, with newspapers and magazines running contests to see who could produce the best Little Willie poem.
The format is simple: a fairly short, humorous poem about a little kid, often but not always named Little Willie, who comes to some grisly end due to his own bad behavior or insatiable curiosity.
Anybody who thinks that The Good Old Days were a kinder, gentler time of high-minded literature, I recommend they look up some of the classic Little Willie poems. Their great popularity lay in their dark, irreverent humor, and while they may have had the side benefit of being cautionary tales, that was not their primary intended purpose. Their primary purpose was simply to amuse and entertain.
Here’s what some claim to be the prototype Little Willie poem:
Willie saw some dynamite.
Couldn’t understand it, quite.
Curiosity never pays,
It rained Willie seven days.

And here’s one of my own creation; I’m kinda-sorta working on a collection of poems for not-very-nice children, and several Little Willie-style poems will be included:
Little Willie, on a dare,
Pushed his grandma down the stair.
Gram descended with a clatter,
And at the end her hip did shatter.
Mother, alerted by the cries,
Scolded, “No TV if Granny dies!”

Note that the parents of the Little Willies often react in this blase manner to their offspring’s outrageous antics.


2 Responses to “Poetry Corner”

  1. judylaq Says:

    Naughty Naughty Willie Boy
    Never known for being coy
    You have fun and like to play
    Your name should be G. Ridgway!

    Sorry – corny! lol

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