Time to break out those clerihews, dorklets and limericks

Lighthearted poetry doesn’t always get the respect it deserves, and to be honest there’s a lot of goofy stuff out there, but good light verse is a kick to hear and especially fun to create. One expert at writing comic verse is local poet Dave Harvey.

Harvey is conducting a free workshop Saturday, October 11, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Medford Public Library’s Carpenter room for anyone who loves a little humor with their poetry or poetry with their humor. Harvey says the workshop will be loosely structured, with the main focus on getting people writing. “My hope is to give a few ideas, using handouts, then get a roomful of poets writing and sharing and, I hope, giggling,” he said.

While he’s a master at the comic form, Harvey also has a real gift for balancing warmth and thoughtfulness with his humor much of his work. His workshop is sure to leave participants inspired and smiling.The workshop will focus on various forms of light verse such as the limerick (though briefly since Harvey says most folks know that form already), the higgledy-piggledy, the clerihew, the pompouselle, the Ogden Nasherie, and the dorklet/dorklette. Just the names sound like fun.

For folks like me who are not familiar with the forms Harvey offers some examples of his own below:

A clerihew is a whimsical four-line poem:

President Barack Obama
Eschews excessive drama.
He has a short tonsorial,
And his manner’s professorial.

Here’s an example of the dorklet:
Who’ll writecha pomes of flavor naval?
Yer Uncle Dave’ll.

A pompouselle, is all about the title.

Elegy on a Dead House Cat Run Over and Rain-Drenched Beside U.S. 101, Noticed by the Poet While Climbing a Grade on his Bicycle on the First Sunny Day in Two Weeks, While a Murder of Crows Caw in a Nearby Tree

Poor mangled, soggy pussycat!
Those semis really mashed him flat!

Harvey is the coordinator and frequent host of the Downtown Coffee House open mike series which meets monthly in Talent. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and he is the author of five chapbooks, three novels, and one true account, “The Fifteen-Speed Cowboy,” which tells of his bicycle trip to Alabama, where he found true love.

The workshop is free, but registration is requested in order to manage handouts and seating. To register email marisahp9@gmail.com.

The Medford Library is located at 205 South Central Avenue, Medford.

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