Poetry Crisis Valentines 2004

Poetry Crisis Valentines 2024

Gil Scott-Heron

Roses are red,
butterflies are free,
the revolution will not
be shown on TV

Robert Browning

Roses are red,
violets are blue.
If I strangle you now
will you always be true?

Coleridge (Kubla Khan)

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I’ll build you a pleasurdome
in Xanadu.
I decree you are my valentine!


Blue is the violet,
red is the rose,
which, by some other name,
would still please the nose.

Carl Sandburg

Roses are red
Sugar is sweet
The fog rolls in on
Little cat feet

Douglas Adams

Roses are red,
Violets are Blue,
The ulitimate answer
Is 42.



Robert Browning calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR:  Poetry crisis line, what is your emergency?

CALLER:   Rats!

COUNSELOR:  I’m sorry, do you mean rodents or police informants?

CALLER:   They fought the dogs

COUNSELOR:  That doesn’t answer my question.

CALLER:   And killed the cats

COUNSELOR:  Those would have to be tough rodents.

CALLER:   And bit the babies in the cradle

COUNSELOR:  That sounds like a serious problem.

CALLER:   Drank the soup from the chef’s own ladle

COUNSELOR:  That sounds like a less serious problem.

CALLER:   Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats.

COUNSELOR:  That sounds like a downright hilarious problem.

CALLER:   They even–

COUNSELOR:  I mean, can you picture some guy putting on his hat and finding–

CALLER:   –spoiled the women’s chats

COUNSELOR:  How is that–

CALLER:   By drowning their speaking / in shrieking and squeaking / in fifty different sharps and flats.

COUNSELOR:  I was going to ask how that’s as important as killing cats and biting babies, but thanks for the clarification.

CALLER:   At last the people in a body / To the town hall came flocking.

COUNSELOR:  And how did that work out?

CALLER:   “It’s clear,” said they, “our mayor’s a noddy–“

COUNSELOR:  Do you mean a bird–or does  he just doze off a lot?

CALLER:   And as for the corporation,

COUNSELOR:  Yes, this corporate personhood thing has gone way too far.

CALLER:   Shocking!

COUNSELOR:  Absolutely.

CALLER:   To think we buy gowns lined with ermine

COUNSELOR:  Wow, really?

CALLER:   For dolts who can’t or won’t determine–

COUNSELOR:  Though I should clarify that an ermine is a mustelid, not a rodent.

CALLER:   –what’s best to rid us of our vermin.

COUNSELOR:  It’s a common mistake. The class mustelidae includes otters, minks, meerkats, and wolverines; but mice rats, beavers, and capybaras are rodents.

CALLER:   You hope because you’re old and obese

COUNSELOR:  Excuse me?

CALLER:   To find in the furry civic robes ease?

COUNSELOR:  I do not wear fur, I am a perfectly healthy weight for my body type, and the Poetry Crisis Line is largely funded by private donations–at least thirty-five percent.

CALLER:   Rouse up, sirs!

COUNSELOR:  Do I sound like a sir to you?

CALLER:   Give your brains a racking / To find the remedy we’re lacking!

COUNSELOR:  No, sir. I can help you find a solution if you are willing to be helped, but ultimately that solution has to come from you.

CALLER:   Or sure as fate we’ll send you packing

COUNSELOR:  Not if I send you first. Goodbye.