TAILGATERS

 

A Tailgater poem is a couplet consisting of one line from a well-known
published poem, followed by a line which the Tailgater poet contributes
to give the couplet an unexpected or comedic twist. The first of my six
Tailgaters below was published in The Washinton Post in June of 2012.
This and the others below were then published in the July/August
issue of The Waverly Window, the magazine of Waverly Heights,
the Lifecare Community in which I live, to introduce the Tailgater to
my fellow residents.

 

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold
and will again, when I get paroled.

John Keats/Mary E. Moore
Runner-up, Style Invitational, Week 970,
The Washington Post, June 3, 2012

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud.
Felt abandoned. Missed the crowd.

William Wordsworth/Mary E. Moore

 

Glory be to God for dappled things,
(The salesman for detergent sings.)

Gerard Manley Hopkins/Mary E. Moore

 

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
a dozen paparazzi chased him down.

Edwin Arlington Robinson/Mary E. Moore

 

Jennie kissed me when we met.
Her nose was running. The kiss was wet.

Leigh Hunt/Mary E. Moore

 

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
I know that worms played major roles.

Robert Herrick/Mary E. Moore

 

 

The Tailgaters which follow were prize winners in a contest I conducted,
in July and August of 2012 for Waverly Heights residents. These first
appeared in the September issue of The Wavery Window and are
published here with the authors’ permission.

 

THE WINNER

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
FTD will make you pay!

Robert Herrick/Sonie Zebrowitz

 

RUNNERS-UP

I weep for Adonais— he is dead!
So glad it isn’t me instead.

Percy Bysshe Shelley/Bernice Hunt

 

Grow old along with me,
I’ll share my knee-pain remedy.

Robert Browning/Bernice Hunt

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
July has taken the starch out of me.

Robert Southey/Jean Kellogg

 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
have his rose-colored glasses on?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge/Sonie Zebrowitz

 

Because I could not stop for Death,
I ran the light. My final breath.

Emily Dickinson/Morton Hunt

 

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed.
(Or we could have some Veuve Clicquot instead. . . .)

William Shakespeare/Wiltrud Goldschmidt

 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Um. . . it’s one of my forgetful days.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning/ Morton Hunt

 

The world is too much with us, late and soon,
let’s hop a space ship to the moon.

William Wordsworth/Bernice Hunt

 

 

Because the Waverly Window readers enjoyed The Tailgaters so much,
the contest was repeated and the best entries published in the November
issue. These are reprinted below. To appreciate the significance of the
winning entry to the Waverly Heights community, one needs to know
that a resident named William Gates, on behalf of his family, recently
presented the community with a beautiful theatre.

 

THE WINNER

’Ave you seen Bill’s mug in the Noos today?
For the Bates Family Theater – Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Robert Service/Sonie Zebrowitz

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

When I have fears that I may cease to be,
I run right out and do tai-chi.

John Keats/Betty Austin

 

A fat man sat in an orchestra stall and his cheeks were wet with tears.
Was it the off-key soprano’s voice or one too many beers?

Robert Service/Sonie Zebrowitz

 

Under a spreading chestnut tree,
the birds dropped pellets white on me.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow/Gil Stein

 

Good people all, of every sort
are TV glued by vicious sport.

Oliver Goldsmith/Jean Kellogg

 

My glass shall not persuade me that I am old.
A crinkly smile is pleasant to behold.

William Shakespeare/Wiltrud Goldschmidt

 

Had we but world enough and time,
I might compose a tailgate rhyme!

Andew Marvell/Rilice Lefton

 

 

BACK TO HOME PAGE