II Awards for
Tipsy Muse Poetry Contest
And the envelope
current Tipsy Muse Poetry Contest guidelines
A limerick about a famous philosopher engaging
in an activity, whether lofty or mundane.
the envelope please...
(open) letter to the Editor from Topic #2 Judge,
Rhina P. Espaillat [p.s. to Tipsy - I
think you're also noted.] —
While the limerick may not become, henceforth,
the preferred vehicle for philosophical writing,
it is—and the winning entries will bear me out—good
for what The Tipsy Muse likes best: laughter.
But before I name those winners, I want to thank
you for offering me the opportunity to assign
limericks, of all things, to the gifted, learned
and witty bunch that congregates electronically
at Able Muse, and then to read all of
this delightful stuff they wrote in response!
It’s been great fun, and also work—the kind
of work I love—to go back to this philosopher
and that in order to follow up some reference.
The experience has made me wish that I knew
more, remembered better, and were capable of
the kind of irreverent wit that animates many
of these entries.
The list of philosophers caught in mid-action
for their allotted five lines apiece is impressive:
from Parmenides to Buckminster Fuller, with
stops through the centuries at such familiar
names as Aquinas, Descartes, William of Ockham,
Spinoza, Wittgenstein, Hume and Nietzsche (in
a variety of spellings!) among others.
First Prize must go to “Less Than Angels,” whose
author clearly has a gift for the telling detail
that reveals character, as we say in creative
writing class. He also has the chutzpah to rhyme
“Aquinas” with “fine ass.” Anybody capable of
such a rhyme is Numero Uno in my libro.
Second Prize goes to “I Think, Therefore...”
for the dead-pan directness and simplicity with
which it illustrates the thought of the philosopher
in question. I like, also, the fact that this
pivotal moment hinges on a hypothetical beer.
The following entries are worthy of praise and
would have won laurels had there been more of
those to distribute:
“Edmund Burke and Fanny Burney,” with the understanding
that the judge is not liable for damages under
any defamation-of-character suit brought by
the Burke heirs.
“Zarathustra Said,” which should get the “2001
Ubermensch Award for Fearless Verbal Risk-Taking,”
for ending with “quietzche.”
“Geodesic Rights,” for closing with a pun so
shamelessly awful it goes all the way around
to good. I considered splitting the “Ubermensch”
prize between this poet and the one above.
“Stubble Trouble,” for the touching homeliness
of the suspenders-down-before-the-bathroom-mirror
situation, and the refreshing irrelevance of
And finally, “A Rasher Bacon,” for the cool
references to our own time and the lovely image
of a Great Thinker going “all wrinkly.”
My congratulations to all, and again, my thanks
to you, Alex, for encouraging all of this smart
- All the entries noted above by our Distinguished
Judge as 'worthy of praise' are also published
here following the winning entries' -- The Tipsy
The First Prize Winner ($200.00)
— By Gail White
angelic doctor Aquinas
Was seldom afflicted with shyness.
He would drink beer and eat
Sausage rolls in the street,
And pinch any girl with a fine ass.
to visit Gail White's start page.
I Think, Therefore...
— By Mary Unruh
barkeep on the Rue de la Mer
asked Descartes if he'd like a fresh beer.
For a moment, he thought,
then he said, "I think not,"
and he disappeared into thin air.
Edmund Burke and Fanny Burney
— By Terese Coe
Burke tried to bite Fanny Burney
In the course of a tedious journey;
“You’re some piece of work!”
She said. “Call it a perk—”
He said, “Just don't call in an attorney.”
— By Jim Hayes
famous philosopher Nietzche
spent all his life trying to tietzche—
the thought in his head
was that real men didn't eat quietzche.
to visit Jim Hayes' start page.
— By Lessandra
was an old fellow named Bucky,
Who yearned for a round house in Truckee,
So he built a home,
And called it a dome,
Remarking, "Gee-oh-dees-is ducky!"
— By Tony Hoffman
William of Ockham, “Suffice
it to say my invention can slice.
But though it may trim
conjecture and whim,
what I’d give for a can of Old Spice!”
A Rasher Bacon
— By Peter Earsman
Bacon once lay in the sun
(Thought tanning would be lots of fun.)
Unlike Christy Brinkly
His skin went all wrinkly.
We had him with eggs (and a bun.)