Tag Archives: satire

“The Devil’s Dictionary” by Ambrose Bierce (definition of Conservative)

“Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as
distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with
others”.

(Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/972/972-h/972-h.htm 

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Shall I Write A Poem Risque

Shall I write a poem risqué
About a girl called Fay?
As you know
I am not that way
At all,
Being pure as the snow
That does fall
On an inner city street
Where Fay’s feet
Clip clop
In heels high,
Causing a passing guy
To stop
And give Fay the eye …

“Sinister Dexter” By Lucy Brazier Is Now Available To Pre-Order

I am very excited to be here, on the wonderful blog of poet extraordinaire Kevin Morris, to share with you the news that the third book in the PorterGirl series is here! Sinister Dexter takes us once again to Old College, where things are never quite as they seem, even when they are.

After avoiding the murderous intentions of The Vicious Circle in First Lady Of The Keys and risking life and limb to find a priceless missing painting in The Vanishing Lord, our heroine Deputy Head Porter finds herself once again at the centre of strange and macabre goings-on in the notorious Old College.

One of the oldest and most illustrious educational establishments in the country, Old College boats a bloody and turbulent 400 year old history and the arrival of its first female Deputy Head Porter has done little to calm matters. If anything, it’s made them worse.

We join Deputy Head Porter at the beginning of a new academic year where the induction of a new Bursar – the enigmatic Professor Dexter Sinistrov – causes ructions. With his first act of office being to cut the tea and biscuit budget for the Porters’ Lodge, he makes himself instantly unpopular with the bowler-hatted staff within. But it is more his penchant for poisoning people that really concerns Deputy Head Porter.

Meanwhile, Head Porter appears to be leading a secret double life and The Dean is convinced that Russian spies are after his job. When two dead bodies turn up at the bottom of the College gardens, Deputy Head Porter is determined that there will not be another College cover-up, even if that does mean begrudgingly working alongside unwelcome outsiders DCI Thompson and DS Kirby. Add to that a wayward College drinking society and an ageing Lothario of a professor and Deputy Head Porter really does have her hands full.

The Blurb:

Sometimes the opposite of right isn’t wrong. It’s left.

Tragedy strikes once more at Old College… The Porters’ Lodge is down to its last tea bag and no one has seen a biscuit for over a week. Almost as troubling are the two dead bodies at the bottom of the College gardens and a woman has gone missing. The Dean is convinced that occult machinations are to blame, Deputy Head Porter suspects something closer to home.

The formidable DCI Thompson refuses to be sidelined and a rather unpleasant Professor gets his comeuppance.

As the body count rises, Head Porter tries to live a secret double life and The Dean believes his job is under threat from the Russian Secret Service.

Deputy Head Porter finds herself with her hands full keeping Old College running smoothly as well as defending herself against the sinister intentions of the new Bursar.

Spies, poisoning, murder – and none of this would be any problem at all, if only someone would get the biscuits out and put the kettle on…

This is the third instalment of the world-renowned PorterGirl series set in the ancient and esoteric Old College. Author Lucy Brazier opens the lid on a world which has sinister overtones in this cozy, BritLit mystery.

Available to pre-order now, general release 27th April 2018.

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2uTULKU

Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2uPGIGr

I Am No Poet

I am no poet, for when,
At 10 AM
Men
Of letters drink beer
You will see
A sight most queer,
Namely me
Drinking tea
Or coffee,
So how can I a poet be?!

At 3 AM
When
Men
Of poetry are kept awake
By young ladies of ill repute,
There can be
No dispute
That you will find me
(Unbound)
Locked In the arms of sleep
Profound,
‘Tis enough to make me weep!

So while others get drunk
As the proverbial scunk
I shall sip my coffee
Or tea
And studiously avoid poetry …

“Doctor Foster” Reinterpreted

I have played around, (purely for my own amusement), with the English nursery rhyme “Doctor Foster”. The first rendering is the traditional rendering, followed by my reinterpretations:

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again.

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He got in a muddle,
When he fell in a puddle,
And never went there again.

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He indulged in a cuddle,
In the midst of a puddle,
With a lady whose name was Jane.

Doctor Foster went to
Gloucester,
In a shower of rain;
He stepped in a puddle,
Which did befuddle
His poor overtaxed brain.

“The Devil In The Belfry” by Edgar Alan Poe

The writer, Edgar Alan Poe is noted for his tales of horror and his dark poetry. Those thinking of Poe will, in all probability recollect his dark poem “The Raven” and stories such as “The Fall Of The House Of Usher”. Po was, however also capable of satire as is demonstrated by his short story “The Devil In The Belfry”.

“The Devil In The Belfry” is a satire on a small dutch town in which nothing changes. The inhabitants of the place are contented to live with their clocks which all keep perfect time and are governed by the timepiece in the steple of the town hall, the latter being attended to by a very important gentleman who is looked up to by the townspeople.

The good people of this unchanging world find joy not merely in clocks but also in cabbages which proliferate in the place. Indeed these nourishing vegetables grow not only outside but can also be found adorning the mantlepieces of every home.

Fun for the boys in the town consists of appending watches to the tails of cats and pigs, while their fathers smoke contentedly on leather bottomed chairs and the women cook indoors. But, unhappily this blisfull life is turned up-side-down.

To read Poe’s story please visit, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/poe/belfry.html

Should Writers Be Political?

A little while back I came across a post entitled “Are Writers Allowed To Express Political Opinions”, https://ryanlanz.com/2017/12/01/are-writers-allowed-to-express-political-opinions/. Before proceeding further, I would like to make it clear that in a free society writers (along with the rest of the population) have an absolute right to voice their views. I have always voted and will continue to do so as to complain and not to vote is, in my view at best risible and at worst smacks of hypocrisy. However the point of this post is to examine whether it is wise for writers to express political opinions.

I recall attending a poetry reading, during the course of which one of the performers regaled the audience with a poem lauding the virtues of a former British prime minister. As a point of information, my view of the PM in question is that their period in office saw both positive and negative measures taken by the administrations in question. However the poem’s uncritical lauding of the politician and its blatant political purpose made me squirm. I suspect that I was far from being alone in my feeling of relief when this piece of propaganda was at an end.

Political poetry need not, however have one squirming in one’s seat. Take, for example the 17th-century “Vicar of Bray which begins thus:

“1. In good King Charles’ golden time, when loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high churchman was I, and so I gained preferment.
To teach my flock, I never missed: Kings are by God appointed
And damned are those who dare resist or touch the Lord’s annointed.

(Chorus):

And this be law, that I’ll maintain until my dying day, sir
That whatsoever king may reign, Still I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, sir. …”. (http://www.britainexpress.com/attraction-articles.htm?article=29).

In the above poem, we are treated to a wonderful description of a vicar who will change his principles in whatever way will advance his survival in the living of Bray. The man has no loyalty whatsoever other than to himself. The poem manages to be both bitingly funny and to attack political opportunism at the same time.

One does not, in my view need to agree with the sentiments being expressed to find poetry that expresses political views interesting and/or amusing. Take, for example Hilaire Belloc’s “On A Great Election”:

“The accursed power which stands on privilege
(And goes with women, and champagne, and bridge)
Broke—and democracy resumed her reign
(Which goes with bridge, and women, and champagne)”.

Although I think that Belloc’s view is overly cynical, his poem does, none the less strike a chord with me and brings a smile to my face, which is a key factor in any good poem (that it resonates with the reader).

As for my own work, anyone who reads my poetry will, I believe gain a view as regards my political outlook. Be wary though my dear reader for my tongue is sometimes firmly implanted in my cheek!

In conclusion, writers do, of course have a perfect right to express political views. However few people like a didact and much of the best political poetry contains an element of satire. Orwell’s “Animal Farm, Animal Farm, never through me shall you come to harm” causes the reader to wince and is intended to do so, for Orwell is satirising the sloganeering of the Communist left. Orwell’s quote is, in my opinion far superior to the poem regarding a former British Prime Minister, which I was forced to sit through during a poetry reading some time ago.

Kevin