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Jon Deer and the Tragic Limerick

by Dear Jon
March 1, 2001

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Twenty-Eighth Sort_Dear Jon-Jon Deer and the Tragic Limerick ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON

Dear Jon,
First I'd like to apologize for using your fine column in a shameful display of self-promotion. Using the thinly-veiled alias of "Not S.E. Shepherd," I heaped praises upon myself in hopes to direct more readers to our poetry section. You must forgive me, as I felt it necessary to attempt to draw your large readership to my work (we poets are an insecure lot). However, you must agree, that in my selfish act, we were able to uncover the tortured soul of Jon Deer. It is for this reason I write to you.

You feel that the Webmaster unfairly stifled this promising wordsmith, but on review of his work, I can only assume the Webmaster had legitamite reason for not printing these poems. Perhaps an unbiased critique would help clarify.

The first poem is called a haiku, however, it fails to fall into the traditional haiku pattern of 5-7-5, that is 5 syllabes for the first line, 7 for the second, and five for the last. Obviously, the Webmaster prefers the traditional style, rather than the more free-style Mr. Deer used.

The second poem is obviously a parody of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Perhaps the Webmaster is a huge fan of Frost, and is disturbed by the thought of someone mocking the great poet's work. Or, perhaps he is afraid of backlash from readers who are Frost fans. The Webmaster should be reminded of the poet Kenneth Koch, who wrote a parody of "Mending Wall," and one of my personal favorites "Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams," which is a delicious parody of Williams's "This is Just to Say."

As for the final poem, the only defense for the Webmaster I can site is pure jealousy.

Anyway, I hope this sheds light on the Webmaster's decisions, and I also hope it encourages both John Deer and other poets to submit to the PO. Thank you, Jon for allowing me share my insights.

S.E. Shepherd

Dear Mr. Shepherd,
Thank you for your insights. You sure had me fooled. I honestly thought you had put your girlfriend up to writing the note, which excited me, because it meant that we had women reading and writing on the PO. Anyway, it was...very interesting what you had to say about the Haiku form.... Uhm ... Jon Deer tells me (he's sitting right here) that actually he was using the less known "Okinawan" Haiku form. It's no surprise if you haven't heard of it. You don't even need to look it up, just trust me.

Jon Deer is right here, and has decided to contribute a new, ground-breaking variation on the limerick form. Fans, after debuting the "Okinawan Haiku" form to the world, Jon Deer (Presented by Dear Jon) unveils to you, The Tragic Limerick.

The Blindness of the Son

A Greek King named Oedipus Rex,
once had his own Mother for sex.
For seeing her thighs,
he cut out his eyes.
O cruel fate!
--Jon Deer

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