Friday, August 21, 2009

Phylis McGinley on Robin Hood

I was browsing through a favorite anthology, The Oxford Book of Satirical Verse, edited by Geoffrey Grigson. I think I purchased it not long after it was published in hardback (1980) because I was beginning to work on a dissertation about satirical poetry written by British poets in the "Romantic" (earlier 19th century) period.

Here is one of the shortest poems in the book:

Speaking of Television: Robin Hood


by Phyllis McGinley

Zounds, gramercy, and rootity-toot!
Here comes the man in the green flannel suit.

Like a wee pin, the poem lets the air out of a TV version of Robin Hood, or perhaps out of the TV appearance of Errol Flynn's famous cinematic rendition. I'm inclined to apply the poem to Kevin Costner's extremely puzzling portrayal of RH.

But mainly I thought . . . what a great idea for a series of poems--two-line rhyming epigrams about things on TV, or on the Internet. So I'll toss the idea out there for an poets who want to have some fun with it, and yes, I understand that your slang may not include Zounds, gramercy, or rootity-toot.
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