The Valentine's Poem Parody Project
Beginning in 1997 (I think) I've been writing a parody of a famous poem every
year on Valentine's Day. I've misplaced some of the poems, but I'm trying to
find an archive the ones I can. Please be charitable with your mockery - I was
13 when I started this project!
Since I began this project, I've learned a lot about how to write a good parody
poem. Here's my advice to all would-be parodists (parodiers?) out there.
- Pick a well known poem with an easy to follow rhyme scheme and an iconic
line or theme (ex: "Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore'")
- Stick to one idea or theme. Don't try to match every stanza or line of the
poem perfectly. If you are using a narrative poem, don't try to follow the
whole story line. Your poem will be confusing and hard to follow. If you pick
a long epic, hit some key ideas but make your poem shorter.
- Get a few of the most famous lines in there. Since you're using a well known
poem, someone in your audience probably had to memorize it in high school
and some people will go look up the original version. Impress them by getting
a few original words and phrases in there.
- Try to be general. Don't write about yourself too much.
Check out "The Lovebird" and "Shall I Compare Thee to a Winter's
Day" for two examples where I followed my own advice and am particularly
proud of the final product.
If you are an annual recipient and happen to have a copy of any of the missing
poems, please send it to me (rshorey at gmail).