Sunday, November 12, 2006

Deadline poet

I got some good news in an unusual area yesterday: I'm one of ten winners of a contest to submit topical poetry to the Globe and Mail. (I'm not sure how many people actually submitted poems, but let's assume it was more than ten.) I'm reprinting my poem below, for posterity; you can see the others here.

A note to non-Canadian readers: Michael Ignatieff is a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party whose name, if he wins the contest, will present a unique challenge for topical versifiers such as the Globe's John Allemang.

Words must be woven, warp and weft,

To hope to rhyme Ignatieff.

You'd sooner unite right and left

Than try to rhyme Ignatieff.

Columnists are moved to glee

By things he says while on TV

And in the many books he wrote

Before he knew he'd want your vote.

Newshounds, too, all salivate,

Anticipating more debates

When he whose "we" spans North and South

Might catch a case of foot-in-mouth.

Yes, they'll all have a merry time

Except for those whose words must rhyme.

Perhaps they'll call him Ig, full stop.

Or maybe Iggy -- Mike or Pop?

(The probability then rises

Of winning some Ig-Nobel prizes -

Or if he is too cool for them,

A Grammy for Best Punk PM.)

A college nickname, G-Bush style,

Lurking in his FaceBook profile?

Oh, why can't his name be as jolly

As Boutros Boutros-Ghali?

Trip gently off the tongue

Like "Dear Leader" Kim-il Sung?

A name that doesn't taunt,

Like U Thant or Immanuel Kant?

One that's easy to scan

Like Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

A laureate will feel bereft

Whan asked to rhyme Ignatieff.

Yes, poets fear the man yclept

I mean, ycleff

Michael 'The Count' Ignatieff.

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