Grammar haiku and a whispering shell

Short poems and quick links today. First: a nonsense rhyme from months ago, reposted here lest I forget all about it:

On a day quite fine by the wind-blown brine,
I sit with my friend tranquilly —
A cockle, his heart warms the cockles of mine
As he whispers of life in the sea.

It will make more sense, I hope, alongside the drawing it was written to accompany: ‘The whispering shell‘ by Tegan Moss on her marvellous A Monster A Day blog.


On March fo(u)rth — National Grammar Day in the U.S. — editor Mark Allen hosted a grammar haiku contest judged by a panel of word specialists. The collected haiku on Storify make for a very entertaining browse. This was my entry:

My word, your syntax
stirs the imperative mood:
Let’s coordinate.

Despite, or because of, its shameless innuendo, it was one of the runners-up; the others, the honourable mentions and the deserving winner may be seen on Mark’s blog.


Comments in haiku, rhyming, or monstrous form are especially welcome, and there’s more haiku, nonsense verse, bookmashes and assorted poetry in the archives.

7 Responses to Grammar haiku and a whispering shell

  1. Ergative verb melts
    litotes are no mean feat
    grammar hurts my brain!

  2. Stan says:

    Some say grammar is
    simple, deep down. No: it’s a
    delicious headwreck.

  3. John Cowan says:

    What, no seasonal references? Fie!

    Spring: the place of rising
       or issuing from the ground,
          a flow of water.

    (Straight from senses 1 and 2a of the OED2. Spring in the sense of the season is a metaphor, shortened from spring of the year, since it has always been taken to be the first of the seasons.)

  4. Joe McVeigh says:

    I once had grammar,
    but one day it just walked out.
    Sometimes I miss it.

    This reminds me of the time I had to come up with a haiku based on Nokia’s (in)famous ring tone in a course at Queen’s University Belfast International Summer School. I had the good fortune of reciting mine just before a Japanese student (who killed it in English and Japanese). My sister, on the other hand, had to go right after the Japanese student.

    I can’t help posting my favorite haiku:
    It’s like we’re looking
    down on Wayne’s basement only
    that’s not Wayne’s basement.

  5. Stan says:

    Some’re referenced; we
    oughta make sure, when we can,
    when t’ rhythm works.

    John: This homophono-acrostic excess should make up for my past (and future) negligence. I like your OED Spring.

    Did grammar walk out
    Or was it elbowed out by…
    Avant-garde grammar?

  6. Joe McVeigh says:

    What can I say, Stan?
    All the kids were doing it
    But I’m better now.

  7. […] might remember the Monster A Day drawing blog that prompted my short verse about a whispering shell. Here are two more whimsical rhymes, best read in tandem with the lovely […]

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