Thursday, February 22, 2018

February DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

Jennifer Wiggins

“Would you like me to [kill you] now? asked Snape, his voice heavy with irony. Or would you like a few moments to compose an epitaph?”
                           – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

At the beginning of February, J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen challenged us to write an epitaph poem—a funny or clever verse that might appear on your chosen subject's tombstone.

Balmung6 on Deviant Art

Actually, writer's block does not appear to have been a problem this month. With more than fifty poems on the padlet, the only problem was mine—deciding which ones to feature as daily ditties! One might even say it was a matter of... grave concern. I'm never able to showcase as many poems as I'd like, but this month?  Seriously. Ridiculous.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our graveyard fun fest!
At a time when we could all use a good laugh, several of you had me in stitches. Others made me pause and reflect, and that's good too.

Thanks especially to J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen for the macabre inspiration, and to Jane for playing along by adding her own lines to many of the featured verses (in the comments).

Scroll through the poems below, or for best viewing, CLICK HERE.

Made with Padlet

Interested in adding your own epitaph poem to the collection?  

I've reserved your plot, but better act quickly—

Add your epitaph poem to our February 2018 padlet by Wednesday, February 28, 2018 and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation.

Participants in this month's challenge will be automatically entered to win a copy of Last Laughs: Prehistoric Epitaphs by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins (Charlesbridge, 2017). One entry per participant, not per poem.

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must be also received by Wednesday, February 28th. If you contribute a poem and comment below you will receive two entries in total.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, March 2nd, when we reveal next month's interview and ditty challenge.

Until then, if anyone needs me I'll be in my office . . .

Elizabeth Steinglass is collecting this week's poetry offerings. Join her for the Poetry Friday roundup.


  1. What a great collection of epitaphs. So many laughs. And some heart breaks, too. Thank you J.Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen for such a wonderful challenge!

  2. because of Jane...and Matt...and everyone else who responds in rhyme...

    In 50 Years Time

    So many lively epitaphs
    were cause for grimace, tear, or laughs--
    the skill with which each poet wrote!--
    Michelle had reason to promote
    the dittys mourning little things:
    from blue balloons to dodo wings
    They might exaggerate a bit---
    I'll hire them all for my obit.

    1. Nice, Rebekah! I'd hire them, too.

    2. Dear Rebekah,

      I'll be here 50 years from now;
      I'm glad it's me you trust
      to pen a lasting epitaph
      the day you bite the dust.

    3. Rebekah and Matt, how much do I owe you for such fine epitaph entertainment?

  3. What a great challenge and what an amazing array of epitaphs!

  4. I swear at the end of every month I think, "What?! It's over? It's time for the wrap-up?" But then I also think, "Wow, Michelle, look at all of the wonderful work you're inspiring." Hats off to you!

  5. So many to love, Michelle. I can see why you had a 'grave concern' as to which ones to share, and I adore the "offline". Perhaps someday, someone will actually use it? Happy Friday!

  6. A padlet of perfect philosophical poems, Michelle.
    Look at what you & JPL & JY have dug up from the corners of our neurons.
    We all dig it, too. And The photoS - spot on!
    I will never look at a reserved parking area sign at a cemetery in the same way, henceforth.
    Appreciations for this end game.

  7. Thanks for hosting this fun challenge. Enjoyed reading the epitaphs this month. It felt so good to laugh!

  8. This was such fun! I'm so glad I found it. Can't wait for the next challenge.

  9. What a terrific collection--thanks for hosting all the fun, Michelle.

  10. This was my first time posting. I am wowed and inspired by each epitaph. What a great challenge! I am looking forward to the next one. Thank you, Michelle.


  11. OH, my goodness....what a fun and funny time scrolling through these. Thanks for the challenge and the laughs. As always, you are the best.

  12. While your picture says "Offline", I'd prefer mine to say, "Uploaded".

  13. They were all great. I had so much fun perusing.

  14. What a wonderful collection of epitaphs, love the "offline" above, thanks for all the smiles, Michelle!

  15. This challenge was a tricky one for me. Everyone's epitaphs are so clever! Thank you, Michelle, Jane, and Pat, for this fun challenge!

  16. Wow. So much fun. I particularly liked both the possum ones (found a dead baby possum in our yard in January), Epitaffy, and the bookslide one. Blue the balloon, too! (might have to use that next year when the 2nd graders read "The Red Balloon.") Off to compose my own, just to be ready....

  17. These are fabulous! They provide some much needed laughter.

  18. What variety, to go from guffaws to real sobs in the space of a few inches. I'm glad your writers feel free share their impressions of current events.

  19. I finally am able to drop by to read all the poems...and, boy, am I glad I did! Those are gruesomely, morbidly fun! :D

  20. I love that last one, mourned unwritten, and the blue balloon, the dodos and the boo-boos. Such a fun set of unfortunate verses.

  21. Every one, breathlessly funny and dead on. Thanks for the inspiration, Michelle. =)