For this year’s Valentine-themed challenge you were invited to provide a poem entitled ‘The Love Song of [insert name of a well-known figure here]’.
There was no obligation to write in the style of Eliot, but a few brave souls did so. David Shields’s ‘Love Song of Kim Kardashian’ (‘I have measured out my life in selfie sticks…’) made me smile. Max Gutmann’s ‘Love Song of Larry Nassar’(‘In this room the gymnasts come and go/ Saying, “My injury’s not near my — oh!”’) made me wince.
High fives to Ralph Rochester, Nicholas Stone, Mike Morrison and Mike Greenhough. The winners take £25 each.
The Love Song of F. Ingvar Kamprad
Now that you’ve unpacked my heart
And checked that it’s complete,
It’s time for passion. You may start
By folding. Do not cheat.
Should you decide I suit your style —
Convenient, well-packed —
You might like this, well worth your while:
My replica, exact.
Efficiency’s emotion squared,
And repetition lust:
I think you’ll find we’re well-prepared:
I know you will adjust.
Come with me, heading one way round
Love’s labyrinthine spree,
With tea-lights twinkling, napkins found,
And meatballs for our tea.
The Love Song of Donald J. Trump
The prowess you display, Vlad, I desire.
At your crime-boss charisma I have failed.
I am too weak, yet strongly I admire
Your manliness. My heart you have impaled.
I wish I had the body to pull off
Those hunky bare-chest poses you have nailed.
You shed your shirt, my humble hat I doff
And feel my heart swell, proud to be impaled.
While you are iron-fisted and serene
In power, I have floundered, flamed and flailed.
Touch me, Vlad, make me icy, hard and lean
Like you whose ruthless thrust my heart impaled.
You’re no apprentice in this power game.
You’re tough, no loser, but a great prevailer.
I won’t get my fair chance to make my name
Until I’m more like Vlad, my heart’s impaler.
David Silverman (with apologies to Bon Jetjeman)
The Love Song of William Archibald Spooner
Cleverly Bark! Oh Cleverly Bark!
I love to say Plingles with Cleverly Bark.
The height of her sack-band,
Her smerve and her sash,
Her verve and her solly
Wring me out in a brash.
She makes Greffi and Jilly-Bean King
Look like amateurs —
Her praises I’ll sing in tactylic detrameters:
Oh Cleverly Bark, my sweet Cleverly Bark,
After the Dennis we tive in the drarque!
We sink in the drummer-house, rest leery whims
With a reeky Chioja, a pugful of Jim’s;
Dovey-lovey, our stround grokes derfect in the park
And now I’m swetrothed to beat Cleverly Bark.
The Love Song of Oscar Wilde
I do not wear an earthly coat
For earthly coats bring shame,
But here I can announce the love
That dared not speak its name.
I loved a Lord and foolishly
Believed love conquers all.
I dined with panthers but forgot
That even great men fall.
The ‘De profundis’ I composed
Wore sentiments of sorrow;
I lingered in the painful past
Ignoring my tomorrow.
Tomorrow came and brought the joy
That heaven’s laws allow.
I have that nameless love again:
He sits beside me now.
The Love Story of Jeremy Clarkson
My love is an elegant model
But she’s cold and she won’t even start.
I lift her bonnet back out of the way
And try to look into her heart.
Oh! Why does she whine when we’re going
And go chattering on when we stop?
Is it water she needs, or a new set of leads?
Or should I be lifting her top?
She requires frequent changes of gear
Whenever we go into town.
Is her belt a bit tight? Is the timing not right?
Or should I be stripping her down?
Get it wrong and she’ll not go again.
Give up and forever I’ll dream
Of the double-declutching we might have enjoyed,
The emission of spirit and steam.
The Love Song of Winston S. Churchill
Let us go now, me and you,
Which in this case makes three not two;
Let us follow, through the mindless fog
And exhaust-polluted air, my Black Dog
Sniffing at lamp-posts for answers.
There will be no time beside the river
In that undiscovered country
Where ignorant leaders clash beside
Gaping graves of the living dead.
I am on my own but not alone
Your heart is grown to precious stone.
Bring me my arrows, bring me my spear,
Bring me brandy. We will fight on the beach,
Excalibur will rise from Thames Reach.
In the Cabinet appeasers come and go,
They dare not call for me, I know.
Your next challenge is to provide a (longer) sequel to the six-word story ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn’, which may or may not have been written by Ernest Hemingway. Email entries of up to 150 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday on 28 February.