Thursday, August 23, 2012

June, Moon, and Meaning

June Moon Couple Kissing Shelly Quote
Percy Shelly
I was recently talking to a fellow poet, and we got onto the topic of light verse.  Is it art or is it drivel? I said that even light verse has to have meaning; he said that the ability to rattle off rhymes is also a talent. He mentioned Ogden Nash to illustrate his point.

Ogden Nash proves my point, not his. I began reading Ogden Nash in high school. First of all, Nash doesn’t just rattle off rhymes; his writing is clever and funny.   
For instance, here is one of his most famous little poems:


Candy is Dandy Ogden Nash
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"Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker."
 
Nash is not just delighting us with a clever rhyme; he is commenting on the social mores of seduction. I could probably write a PhD thesis on the meaning in that little poem--about love and sex and the relationships between men and women--but I won’t because I know if you think about it for a minute you’ll see what I mean. 

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For more quotes about love, see

How to Find Love: The 45 Best Quotes by Famous People on Love
 

 
To prove my point that it is easy to rattle off rhymes, I decided I would composed a little poem in a couple of minutes off the-top-of-my head. I intended it as a send-up of the moon-June cliché. However, when I wrote it down and read it, I realized that although I had intended to write doggerel, I was actually commenting on the social mores of love and sex and the relationships between men and women myself.

What can I say? Even when I try to be nothing but frivolous, I’m deep.

Here’s the poem I wrote.  What do you think?

 
The Moon in June

It was a lovely night in June.
And yes, you guessed it, there was a full moon.
My sweetie gave my lips a peck.
And then he began to nuzzle my neck.

At first it was just a low growl,
but soon it became a full-throated howl.
I thought, “It’s nothing more than lust.”
But it wasn’t—it was canis lupus.