Thursday, April 23, 2015

April DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway


Oops.  Looks like someone forgot their party hat.

Despite the austere expression, I'm quite sure that English novelist and humorist E. C. Bentley would have approved of today's DMC celebration.  At the beginning of this month, Kwame Alexander challenged us to "pick a celebrity and write a clerihew" – a form invented by E. C. Bentley in the late 19th century.

For many of us, it was our first time writing a clerihew. For me, it won't be the last. This fun exercise resulted in plenty of smiles, a few giggles, and a whole lot of head-nodding. I also discovered that we're a considerate bunch of writerly folks, since the majority of participants took this opportunity to pay tribute to, rather than poke fun at, our chosen subjects.

We'll have to work on that.

Many thanks to Kwame for helping us celebrate 
National Poetry Month and for inspiring us to try something new! 

Without further ado, here are the Ditty of the Month Club clerihews. Enjoy!

All poems are copyright 2015, and published with permission of the authors, who control all rights.

Celebrating Kwame Alexander...

When I think of the newest Newbery Kwame Alexander
I remember sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,
Women aren't the only ones who love romance and mo',
Real men eat poetry for breakfast, so let the words go!

–Brenda Harsham

                              Kwame is the current word weaver king,
                              spreading "the love" that language will bring.
                              As poet extraordinaire, family man, and spaghetti lover,
                              he tells great tales, but from his little one runs for cover.

                              – Carol Varsalona

                                                            Kwame Alexander wrote a book in poetry,
                                                            THE CROSSOVER won the Newbery,
                                                            and he will hit you with his purse
                                                            if you fail to call it a NOVEL in verse.

                                                            – Joy Acey

                                                                                          Kwame Alexander is Da Man!
                                                                                          I am now his number one fan.
                                                                                          The CROSSOVER, a book of great means,
                                                                                          And a bridge from poetry to teens.

                                                                                          – Angie Karcher

and other masters of poetry.

               Issa hailed from old Japan
               a poet and a simple man.
               On family he could not depend
               so flea or fly became a friend.

               – Diane Mayr
               *A fabulous illustrated version can be found at Random Noodling.

                                                       EDGAR ALLAN POE
                                                            by Lana Wayne Koehler

                                                       Edgar Allan Poe
                                                       His mysterious death apropos
                                                       He wrote of a Raven and wrote about crime
                                                       And totally rhymed sublime

Paying tribute to Today's Little Ditty...

     by Mindy Gars Dolandis

Hats off to our fearless leader Michelle
For featuring poets who write very well
And allowing us others to pen something pretty
For her wonderful website, Today's Little Ditty

                                        Michelle Heidenrich Barnes loves children's poetry
                                        at Today's Little Ditty you can read it for free.
                                        It's where she posts challenges, and if you hustle
                                        you'll be able to stretch your poetry muscle.

                                        – Joy Acey

and a few more familiar faces.

               Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong:

                              Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong compile anthologies for fun.
                              Pomelo Books'  Poetry Friday Anthologies are for everyone.
                              Giving poetry and children, firm foundations
                              their latest book is for CELEBRATIONS.

                              – Joy Acey

               Renée M. LaTulippe:

                              I want to sing verse like Renée
                              she treats you to a lyrical buffet
                              her poetry's a golden chain
                              in relation mine gives tummy pain.

                              – Robyn Campbell

               Susanna Leonard Hill:

                              An author named Susanna Hill,
                              who writes perfect picture books still,
                              parties and drinks eggnog
                              with Phyllis the groundhog.

                              – Kristi Dee Veitenheimer

               Jama Rattigan:

                              Jama shines above the rest,
                              cooks up blog posts filled with zest.
                              She's not gilding on a lily,
                              she's the allspice in our chili!

                              – Mary Lee Hahn

Recognizing our favorite entertainers...

     by Linda Baie

Listen! Announcing that Lady called Gaga
whose trade clothes fill scenes of an ongoing saga.
Yet who cares what she wears when she sings us a tune?
for that’s when she makes us fall into a swoon.

                              THE ADVICE OF SPIKE
                                   by Charles Waters

                              Spike Lee sits next to me
                              Arms crossed, sad as can be,
                              He begs me, “Please, do the right thing
                              Never again attempt trying to sing.”

                                                             THE PERFECT WIFE AND MOTHER
                                                                  by LeeAnn Blankenship

                                                              In the 50's we learned the ideal was June Cleaver,
                                                              But she was a fake, an over-achiever;
                                                              I'll bet she has changed, put her past on the shelf,
                                                              Now saying at mealtime, "Just fix it yourself!"

               ROBIN WILLIAMS
                    by Danielle Hammelef

               Robin Williams, you made me laugh.
               I wanted to be Mindy, your earthling half.
               Good Morning, Vietnam woke the world to your gift.
               And Euphegenia Doubtfire gave the world a face lift.

                                                   Mr. Music, Ray Conniff, and his world famous singers
                                                   Mixed choral la-las with triangle dingers                             
                                                   Their grand music swung from big band to rock
                                                   Each song a hit from Elvis to Bach

                                                   – Linda Mitchell
                                                   * Watch a highly entertaining performance of "Brasil."

politicians, and royals.

               HILLARY'S RUNNING AGAIN...
                    by Michelle Kogan

               Hillary Rodham Clinton’s running again...
               But this time, her motherhood’s a ticket for men.
               How far will she run, how fair, how long...
               Will a lullaby bring her a victory song?

                                             WIFE #2
                                                  by LeeAnn Blankenship

                                             A charming, ambitious, and sly Ann Boleyn
                                             Enticed a great King with a glance and a grin,
                                             But once she was Queen, her Sovereign had said,
                                             "If she bears me no sons, then OFF WITH HER HEAD!"

Appreciating scientists and inventors...

     by Tabatha Yeatts

Cecilia Payne
had a wonderfilled brain.
She ascertained the element
hydrogen was prevalent.

* Read more about Cecilia Payne.

                             MR. FRANKLIN
                                   by Mindy Gars Dolandis

                              Perhaps he was a bit crazy, old Ben
                              Conducting one of his experiments again
                              But his brilliant findings could not be disputed
                              It's a good thing he wasn't electrocuted

                                                            ELIZABETH ENVIRONMENTALIST KOLBERT
                                                                  by Michelle Kogan

                                                            Elizabeth Kolbert has men’s shirttails all a tither,
                                                            cause her Sixth Extinction book makes them quiver.
                                                            If this extinction’s an unnatural history...
                                                            Straighten those shirttails and  protect earth’s destiny.

                                                                                           Super smart Francis Crick
                                                                                           never missed a mathematical trick.
                                                                                           Tall and thin, a true British highbrow,
                                                                                           in possession of the most epic eyebrows.

                                                                                           – Loree Griffin Burns
                                                                                           * You can see his epic eyebrows here.

                              James Duke
                              Has been known to rebuke
                              Companies for promoting dangerous drugs;
                              Big Pharma shrugs.

                               – Tabatha Yeatts
                               * Find out more about "the world's foremost authority on healing herbs."


               LADY LINDY
                    by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

               Amelia Earhart, aviator,
               lived for now instead of later.
               Told that girls were not robust,
               she up and left them in her dust.

                                             SUPERHERO SNAG
                                                  by Leane Gill

                                             Dear Spider-Man and Superman, I see plenty of trouble.
                                             The fact your names both end in "man" needs fixing on the double.
                                             I know plenty of girls at school who like to fight crime too.
                                             And thinking it's just for boys-really makes us blue.

and anyone else who tickles our fancies.

                              MAN IN THE MOON
                                   by Rosi Hollinbeck

                              I’m Man in the Moon,
                              not some bad cartoon!
                              My crescent
                              is a shimmery pearlescent.

                                                            A skunk dined on grubs outside my front door.
                                                            When I thought it was done, it gobbled up more.
                                                            I waited 'til dawn in my living room,
                                                            Not wanting to risk wearing polecat perfume.

                                                            – Danielle Hammelef

               Edward Snowden
               Rolled the dice & passed Go, then
               Landed on NSA utilities
               And had to pay ten times over for his abilities.

               – Julie Larios

                                             He's my own celebrity: My husband Chuck, is cooking's best
                                             he creates pizza with lots of zest.
                                             And when he makes his spaghetti
                                             he throws in allspice like confetti.

                                             – Jone Rush MacCulloch

Looks like fun, doesn't it? 
Who would you choose to write about?

If you'd still like to try your hand at writing a clerihew, you can find all the details HERE. Send it to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right.  I will continue to add poems to this wrap-up post until Thursday, April 30th at 5:00 pm (ET).

Participants in this month's challenge will be automatically entered to win an autographed copy of Kwame Alexander's 2015 Newbery winner THE CROSSOVER, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (One entry per participant, not per poem.)

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below.  If you contribute a poem and comment below you will earn two entries in total. Comments must also be received by Thursday, April 30th at 5:00 pm (ET).

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, May 1st, when we reveal our new Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge.

Good luck!

Where did April go in such a hurry?  The last Poetry Friday roundup of National Poetry Month is being hosted by the lovely and lyrical Renée LaTulippe at No Water River.  See you there!


  1. Such great variety! I love reading about some unknowns, too, like Cecilia Payne.

  2. Wow! What a fabulous bunch of poems! So clever and fun! And I am honored to have been, er, well, honored! Thank you Kristi and Michelle! (And Phyllis says thank you too, but her mouth is full of graham crackers at the moment so it sounded like sgfsjgfeyugf ru :)

  3. What a great round up, Michelle. These are a fun read. Thank you for the opportunity.

  4. Michelle, Today's Little Ditty is full of wonderful clerihews. There is a great variety and I just love the ones that are paying tribute to you. Thank you for offering this challenge.

  5. It's simply delightful to see all the clever poems here, Michelle. Your challenges inspire, then everyone else does too! Thanks to your ideas & to Kwame's challenge. I'm looking forward to what & who are next!

  6. Some great work here; some gave me a chuckle. So many people to write about.

  7. Thanks Michelle for sharing this incredible collection of clerihews! And for interviewing Kwame Alexander who inspired is.

  8. These were such fun to read, epic eyebrows and all. Love that you wrote about Earhart, a favorite of mine when I was in grade school.

  9. What a fun way to end the week by reading these clerihews!

  10. Some challenges I jump right in to before I really know what I'm doing. Not this one. I stayed away. But I do love all the various results. I'm thinking maybe it wasn't so daunting after all.

  11. I want to write some more! Thanks for getting me started :-)

  12. I love how you organized these! What a fun collection. I especially like your admonition that we'll have to work on this business of being so nice and . . . well, proper. :-)

  13. These poems are so much fun! I really enjoyed the surprise of seeing who'd be featured every day. Thanks so much, Michelle! Wish I had time to partake!!

  14. This was an awful lot of fun. Thanks for doing this.

  15. What fun! I'll definitely check the definition and rules (the poking fun part, especially) for a clerihew again and submit something. For people who want more, here are the winners from a clerihew contest at The Atlantic:

  16. Thank you, Michelle and Kwame! What an interesting month this has been. I love seeing the variety and creativity in the clerihew forms featured here - good job poets!

  17. Really enjoyed reading these. Thanks, Michelle.

  18. Here we are, down to the wire again and I haven't written my clerihew! Well, there's nothing that inspires me like a deadline, so off I go to write!

  19. So many great clerihew in this roundup, Michelle. I never got my bottom in gear to write one this month, but I plan to eventually...maybe about Mickey Mouse? =)

  20. I so love Mary Lee's description of Jama - and all the familiar beauties I see here in this post. Thanks, dear Michelle for rounding everything up so nicely! :)

  21. What a collection! Alas, I've been trying to find the time o write one, and just couldn't...but I saw Kwame this past weekend, and he was happy to be part of this!

  22. I love this collection, too, and I am so happy to be up first! I'm as happy as my 6 year old daughter was to find out she was first at her violin recital. :-D What an honor to be the subject of two Clerihews! And I love the one about Jama, too. I never thought to come and hunt down a month-end wrap up, but now that I know, I'll have to watch for future ones. What a fun site you have.