Lucy Vickery


In Competition No. 2930 you were invited to submit up to 16 lines of macaronic verse.

A dictionary of poetic terms will tell you that macaronic is a verse form popularised by Teofilo Folengo, a Mantuan monk, which uses a mixture of languages, normally with a comic or satirical intent. I prefer E.O. Parrott’s elegant definition: ‘a school of poetry which originated in the polyglot eating houses of Trieste’.

French was the most popular second language; Latin and German followed closely behind. Polish, Greek, Russian and Swahili also made fleeting appearances (hallelujah for Google Translate).

It was a smallish field but there was much to admire. Frederick Robinson, Frank Upton, Jerome Betts, Frank -McDonald and Bill Greenwell all deserve a round of applause. Alan Millard bags the extra fiver and his fellow winners are rewarded with £25 apiece.

My dearest, dolce, darling one,
Do not be lacrimoso,
My song, con brio, like the sun,
I sing affettuoso.
Pesante though your heart might be
I beg, semplice, hark to me
And, molto presto, you shall see
I love you amoroso.
With ravvivando pace, my heart
Is beating furioso,
With slancio I sing my part,
To please I’m risoluto,
Maestoso is my serenade,
Alone and, a cappella, played,
Such love, morendo, must not fade
But grow accelerando!
Alan Millard
What’s the cereal that ticks
All the boxes? Weetabix!
Any breakfaster who’s picky
Palmam donat Weetae bici.
Cornflakes, porridge: who would eat ’em
Ante dulcem bicem Weetam?
Every golden wholegrain brick is
Mihi gratum Weetae bicis.
Wholesome, tasty: multiplices
Weetae sunt virtute bices —
Vere carmen est cantandum
Weetas bices ad probandum!
Mornings are a joy for us
Fructis Weetis bicibus;
Thank you, deus benefice,
Pro hac bona Weeta bice!
Penelope Mackie
I’m off en vacance to Biarritz
once mon maillot de bain really fits.
So, wrinkled and sagly, me voici at Ragley
attempting to trim a few bits
in the hopes of improving l’image
d’une flabby old bird de mon âge.

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