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.

  1. Pick a well known poem with an easy to follow rhyme scheme and an iconic line or theme (ex: "Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore'")

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).