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By Douglas Sciorra

Wiser’s Wramblings-To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme, That is the Question


By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

It’s not every Thursday that my Wrambling’s come with an index but lest I forget something I thought I would include one today. Thanks to Sticky note inventor.

A poem by any other name is still a poem. In my poetic career I have written what I thought were “Limericks” on three occasions. I will share what I thought was one of my recent limericks at the end but in full disclosure it wasn’t really a limerick as originally written. In honor of National Limerick Day May 12th, I shared one of the three on my social media page. As I looked at it I wondered if I had followed the rules of poetry in writing them and somewhat after the fact did my due diligence. Lo and behold I broke the laws of poetry, vague that they are. A limerick is:

  1. A limerick consists of five lines arranged in one stanza.
  2. The first line, second line, and fifth lines end in rhyming words.
  3. The third and fourth lines must rhyme.
  4. The rhythm of a limerick is anapestic, which means two unstressed syllables are followed by a third stressed syllable.
  5. The first, second, and final line each have three anapests—da dum da da dum da da dum.
  6. The third and fourth lines have two anapests-—da dum da da dum

And there you have it. I think I will double up my planned ending ditty and call it a “Double Do Limerick”. It would be kinda like a “double metaphor”.

Going back to my earliest poetic endeavors I nearly always make my poems rhyme. Since the early 80’s most of my Rhyming poetry is written with 8 syllables and for a reason. I started writing them with some being published into choral songs and most choral music is written with 4 beats to a measure and one line of poetry would create two lines of “song lyrics” when words or syllables were matched to the notes. I didn’t know it until this morning but that style of poetry with 8 syllables is called “Rondel” derived from French lyrical poetry from the 14th century. Now we all know something we likely didn’t know yesterday. Pretty sure a musical theology major would already know that.

Switching to a somewhat more serious topic for a bit I feel obligated to share that “public gatherings” can still be problematic if we don’t recognize that the Covid virus is still among us. Allegany County doesn’t seem to share their data much, but I read in the Olean Times Herald that Cattaraugus County had 80 new cases reported for Tuesday, raising the May total for them to 880. The Genesee Valley Chorus has been meeting for a few weeks now with the requirement that all singers are supposed to be vaccinated or wear masks. We had a few cases reported last week so Tuesday’s practice was canceled out of an abundance of caution.

Yes! You can still get infected even if already vaccinated. For the most part the infections from these “spin off” variants typically are not as severe. BUT…for someone who has underlying conditions or immunity problems they can be serious. I had been a little lax in wearing my mask within this group but wear it everywhere else, especially in stores and other business establishments. I continue to wear it not solely to protect myself, but to help protect others…YOU included. I don’t want to be the reason a loved one or close friend gets infected and shares it with someone who may be in jeopardy if they in turn get infected.

OK. A Wrambling I will go. Grammar Groans: Never thought that much about the vowel listings as they recited them early on in elementary school but A, E,I,O and U would suffice except for the few that would not be pronounceable if it weren’t for “Y”. Why? (That’s one) Think about the word Rhythm. Wouldn’t even be a word without the “Y” and never could understand why they didn’t put an “E” after the second “H” as it is pronounced “Rih-them”.

Often debated is the correctness of: “I could care less” versus “I couldn’t care less”. I have been told “officially” that the one that sounds least likely is the correct version, but according to Google/Wikipedia the logical one is correct. “I couldn’t care less” is correct. By saying “I could care less” you are confirming that in fact you could actually care less or not as much as you could before.

I had two instances this past week regarding hearing from someone not heard from in awhile and then having heard from them the very next day. I one case I had thought about calling the individual and asking them if I had lost them as a friend as prior to winter I had heard from them almost daily, but not since. Glad I didn’t make the call. It would have been awkward.

In the category of “odds and coincidences”, How often do you drop a tiny round pill on the floor, and have it land on edge and start rolling and go all the way across the floor and under something? Or, along the same lines hold four or five pills in your hand and dump them on the table. An amazing number of times they will land on the narrow edge rather than on the larger flat surface. Before I took off my “Engineers” hat and retired I was always going to calculate or ask someone “wiser” indeed and not just in name, to explain the Physics behind the weight distribution that makes that all happen. I’m pretty sure it’s not “witchcraft”. I was listening to an ABBA song “Thank You for the Music”, on my way up town. It was pre-recorded and downloaded to my phone. I walked into Tractor Supply and the exact same song was playing.

Raise your hand if you instinctually look into your rear-view mirror after passing by a State Police or Sherriff’s car while driving down the road. I think I am subconsciously checking to see if they turn on their lights and do a “U Turn” to come after me. Sounds kinda paranoid, doesn’t it?

I am officially a “tweener”. No, not age wise but rather size wise. For some reason for the past several decades my waist size, even having gone both up and down by a few sizes over the years always seems to land on an odd number ever since departing the 32” waist size. Everything in the typical department store sizing seems to want to fall on the even numbered sizes. 33, 35, 37 waist sizes do not exist, at least in the common retail store offerings. Currently I would wear a size 35 if it were available. 34 is too snug to be comfortable and 36 is too loose requiring cinching the belt and puckering the waist band. Shirt sizes are almost as bad. Large (after shrinkage) is often on the too tight side and the Extra Large never seems to shrink where it’s needed to. Socks are even worse.  I have had shoe fit problems since growing into a size 12 when I was 12 years old. I am now a 13 or 14 depending on make and style. Socks come in two flavors 6-12 or 13-15. The upper range, not always available in the first place, actually is more like a size 20 as they are way too long so I end up normally getting the 6-12 and they have to stretch and are too tight. I have “arthritically challenged” appendages and my extremely long toes that tend to drift to the inside, are hell on socks.

I learned, or maybe relearned, something today. We have done a considerable amount of online shopping, much of which is through Amazon, especially with their free returns “Prime” policy. As most people point out, catalogue or online shopping isn’t the most convenient size, style, or satisfaction wise and so returns occur quite frequently. Trying to peel to remove the previous shipping label to affix our return label has been a nuisance often tearing the cardboard box material along with the label. Decided to try my wife’s hair dryer today and it worked like a charm. Now let me add, that my wife is as guilty, or more so, than I. She just rips the label off regardless of how much of the box the label takes with it. When I showed her how neatly the label peeled away with a little heating from her hair dryer, she said “sure, any idiot knows that”. As you can tell by reading this, I am still alive, thanks to my keeping my mouth shut.

The bears are still with us and still hungry. Attached video is from nearby my house the other night. It showed up at my house about an hour later, but my barricade thwarted its attempts to gain access to feeder.

I asked the Scio Librarian Sue Moyer for permission to share what I thought was a limerick which was written for, not about, her a few years back. Being the chief cook and bottle washer at the Scio Memorial Library requires you to wear many hats, or gloves or whatever doing some of the required upkeep duties in a small local library. From the topics discussed in the following you may be able to guess what duties she was performing one day when I stopped by to visit. Follows is what I hereby dub a “Double Limerick”.

The Librarian is not a Contrarian

You can usually find our Ms. Moyer

Near the library desk in the foyer

Though her duties oft plain

She makes sure all will drain

With plunger in hand a destroyer

When a reader seeks books in a rush

Wanting stories of life, oh so plush

She gives up with her mop

Though the mess still to sop  

Someone has to make sure things will flush

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