Of Purple Cows and Ending of School Year
Monday is the last week of school. My seniors are already done with their finals and have vamoosed. There is an empty spot in my schedule, and in my teacher’s heart. I so enjoy my AP Lit classes. I hope they remember the stuff I taught them or attempted to teach them when they are sitting in their university lecture halls.
This week the sophomores take their finals. They will be tested on their knowledge of Julius Caesar, the last unit of their tenth grade English. For the most part they enjoyed learning about this important Rome leader. They still have misconceptions about him though–such as him being the inventor of s salad. They were amazed July is named after him.
Some complained about how much history goes with English literature. One influences the other, is what I tell them. They still grumble.
My one another AP class, my AP Language, affectionately known as Langsters, will be presenting their Senior Project Starters this week as their final. Most will be moving on to AP Lit, so not too much sadness, although they did make my first year of teaching AP Language quite enjoyable. Juniors are done with underclassmen drama, aren’t infected with Senioritis, and realized that with a wee bit more effort it’s possible to get great SAT scores which can open doors to desired colleges.
After June 12th I’m free to get back to “me” pursuits, such as reading books, instead of essays. I also hope to finish up a YA novel I started (about five years ago). It’s tough finding time to write as a teacher.
Surprisingly enough, I’m on the short list to teach creative writing second semester. It’s been about four years, so I’m brushing off some of my lesson plans. One them involves parody writing. Tell me what you think:
“Imitation is the best form of compliment” or so they say. A Parody Poem emulates or copies a known style of poet. Special attention is paid to tone, diction, rhythm, meter—basically getting the poet’s style so that it is recognizable.
Here are some parody poems using the famous “Purple Cow” poem:
A Purple Cow (reading by Stuart S.)
by Gelett Burgess
I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
And here are the parodies:
Edgar Allen Poe
Parody by Susan and David Hollander
One lonely, gloomy, windswept eve
A mournful sound did I perceive.
I cast my eyes beyond the pane
And to my horror down the lane
Came a sight; I froze inside
A spectral cow with purple hide.
Parody by Susan and David Hollander
On far off hills
And distant rills,
Sounds a distant moo.
A purple spot
I think I caught,
Yes! I see it, too!
In Bovine majesty she stands,
Her purple tail she swings,
The amethyst cow,
To my heart somehow,
Perfect joy she brings.
And yet the thought of being
Of that race of royal hue,
Though glowing like the violet sweet,
It really would not do
by C. Muse
Who cares about greens eggs and ham?
I like cows.
I like cows here and now.
I like cows and their moo.
Do you like cows?
You like them, too?
I like cows brown or black and white.
A purple cow?
I think not.
That can’t be right.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art so lovely, as thou eats hay.
Gentle creature, thou shows its color true,
Of thy hide of which you are adorned
A rich amethyst, a most unexpected hue.
Some may give shriek and others scorn
Yet, it matters not, thou still dost moo.
So long as all can breathe and see,
So all appreciate the purple cow that is thee.
Ah, more fodder for the cow book, eh? How’s it coming along?
Oh goes-it goes to editors and agents and comes back. Gotta stop typing on recycled boomerangs.
“Recycled boomerangs.” Love it. You should write an anthology about rejection. (I’ll be happy to contribute, for I have a few hundred anecdotes to draw from.)
Now there’s a paradox–getting a book published as a result of rejection (s).
Make sour cream outta spoiled moo juice.
Moo redeux has a better ring to it. (A cowbell ring, of course).
Cows must ring their bells being unable to honk their horns.