Lucy Vickery

Brief lives

In Competition No. 3072 you were invited to supply a short verse biography of a well-known figure from history.
In a commendable entry, notables long gone — Diotisalvi, Vercingetorix the Gaul, Dr Dee — rubbed shoulders with those still very much with us — Anthony Weiner, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson. There were borrowings from Edward Lear and Lennon and McCartney (‘BoJo was a clown who thought he was a leader/ Made it to King Charles Street too…’) as well as echoes of Ogden Nash.
An honourable mention goes to Brian Allgar for getting into the Halloween spirit with his life of Vlad the impaler. On equally eye-catching form were D.A. Prince, Sylvia Fairley, Bill Greenwell, Douglas G. Brown and W.J. Webster, who submitted a concrete poem. But the prizes go to the winners printed below — a varied bunch who are rewarded with £25 each.

How unpleasant to meet Mr Pound
With his motley assortment of views —
Some, about verse, not unsound,
Others toxic, e.g., about Jews.
Both Image and Vortex were isms
He championed as new and exciting.
If Modernists had catechisms,
It’s Ezra’s words they’d be reciting.
In his youth he looked Three Musketeerish,
Though he swashed less and buckled more later.
In the war he waxed Fascist and sneerish.
His native land called him a traitor.
His Cantos is much praised but nearly
Unread outside graduate school.
His career demonstrates all too clearly
That a genius can be a damn fool.
Chris O’Carroll
Old Adam was a gardener
And walked upon his lawns
But Lilith grew the eglantine
And battled with the thorns.
Old Adam was a gardener
And strode among his trees
But Lilith trimmed the terminals
And tended to the bees.
Old Adam was a gardener
And played the king therein
But Lilith made the compost heap
And let the rot begin.
Old Adam was a gardener
And slumbered in the sun
But Lilith fed the apple tree
By which he was undone.
Ann Drysdale
He was immune to discipline,
As quarrelsome as Punch,
At war with his immediate kin
And strictly out to lunch.

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