In Competition No. 2892 you were invited to submit an irregular quatrain in which you bring together two people from the world of the arts and then add a couplet describing the consequences.
Two competitors paired Tolkien and Graham Greene, with not dissimilar results. Here’s D.A. Prince:
If J.R.R. Tolkien
Met Graham Greene
Would a hobbit’s story
Become The Power and The Glory?
And take two from Virginia Price-Evans:
Had J.R.R. Tolkien
Met Graham Greene,
The Hobbit’s lair
Might have been the end of the affair.
Other popular couplings included Wendy Cope and Alexander Pope; Salvador Dalì and Bob Marley; Horace and William Morris; and Mel Gibson and Henrik Ibsen. This one drew the crowds and the volume of witty entries made judging extremely difficult. The winners below take £8 per quatrain.
If Charlotte Brontë
had played Beatrice to Dante
might the fruit of their epic affair
have been Dante’s literary Eyre?
If Ogden Nash
had written songs for Johnny Cash
the lyrics might have turned out stronger
but the line Johnny walked would have been a whole lot longer.
If Leonardo da Vinci
Had met Maeve Binchy
The Madonna of the Rocks
Might have worn woollen socks.
If Elvis Presley
Had met Charles Wesley,
He might have been converted from rock’n’roll
If Grace Kelly
Had met George Melly,
Then her life would have been brainier,
But not rainier.
If Cecil B. De Mille
Had met Benny Hill,
Would The Ten Commandments have had more
bits in ’em
With tits in ’em?
If Edward Lear
Had met Johannes Vermeer,
He might have written ‘There was a young lady from Dearing
Who sported a lovely pearl earring…’
Happened across Fred Astaire,
I have a feeling
They’d both dance on the ceiling.
When Christopher Logue
Beheld Kylie Minogue
He compared her to Helen, displaying the skill he had
In recycling useful bits of the Iliad.