Weird Universe


Staging a Left-olution

Today's post features a bunch of sinister, leftist radicals, in honor of International Left Handers Day (August 13).

Also, check out the Bill of Lefts.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Aug 13, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience, Video, Poetry

The Woman with the Serpent’s Tongue


[Click to enlarge]

Original article here.

Once upon a time, poetry still mattered, and could cause great controversies. No social media for such battles, after all. This poem seems to have cost William Watson the post of UK Poet Laureate.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Aug 13, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Poetry, 1900's, Women, Europe, Curses, Slurs, Insults, Vituperation, Libel and Slander

Litigation Through Poetry:  Or, Texas Is Hell


Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jul 22, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Law, Nature, Regionalism, Religion, Poetry, 1900's

Can-Fed Husbands

Shamokin News-Dispatch - Apr 1927

From Songs of a Housewife, by Marjorie Rawlings. It's an odd book of poetry, recording in verse all the various complaints and problems of 1920's housewives, such as husbands who complained about being given canned food.

Available at Amazon, which gives the following, fuller description of it:

This charming collection of poems that Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (The Yearling, Cross Creek) wrote in the 1920s were so popular that they appeared one-a-day in a New York newspaper for two full years. Organized by task, the poems graphically depict the life of a housewife (mending, baking, dusting, and the joy of a sunny window) with wisdom and humor. In the days before convenience stores and microwaves, Rawlings reminds us of the horror of having company show up with nothing fixed to feed them. Or in a more timeless vein, the disdain a harried mother feels for the neighbor who has all her Christmas shopping done and wrapped early.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jan 16, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Wives, Poetry, 1920's

Simultaneous discovery of sheep poetry?

In science, the phenomenon of simultaneous discovery, or "multiple independent discovery," is well known. The term describes how two or more researchers often independently discover the same idea, at around the same time. For instance, both Newton and Leibniz came up with the idea of calculus in the late 17th century, and both Darwin and Wallace developed the concept of evolution by natural selection in the mid-19th century.

An example of this phenomenon might have recently occurred in the field of sheep poetry. Though whether it's simultaneous discovery or idea theft depends on whom you believe.

In 2002, Valerie Laws came up with the concept of "Quantum Sheep" or "haik-ewe." Her idea was to spray paint a different word on the backs of 15 sheep, and then watch them as they grazed in a field to see what poems would they would form. Then, last year, artist Alison Cooper came up with the same idea, though she called it "Write to Roam."

Cooper insists she was completely unaware of Laws' previous work, but Laws thinks it's more likely Cooper stole her idea, either consciously or subconsciously. Who to believe? Perhaps someone should ask the sheep what they think. []
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Apr 05, 2013 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Poetry


Enjoy a segment of one of the most-parodied poems in English.

I wonder what the official attitude of Native Americans is these days to Longfellow's work?

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jun 12, 2011 | Comments (4)
Category: Stereotypes and Cliches, Poetry, Nineteenth Century

Henry Gibson, Redux

Race Relations Poem from Swindon Viewpoint on Vimeo.

I'm so pleased to see that people have continued to channel the spirit of Henry Gibson.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Mar 02, 2011 | Comments (3)
Category: Poetry, 1960's

Follies of the Mad Men #103

Something different for this installment: an old postcard.

Why would any casino want to depict their customer as a drooling cretin?

The verse on the back says:


Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed May 19, 2010 | Comments (3)
Category: Art, Poetry, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.