Here are some verses on the writing life in the wake of the lukewarm reception to the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.
Publishers send out books with great haste
And for two copies of reviews they yearn;
If the critic is kind, they cut and paste;
If the critic is caustic, they rip and burn.
“Portions of this book
Appeared in different form.”
“What form?” I often wonder:
“Swamp gas or hailstorm?”
Do writers with the Hemingway Montblanc
Treat it like a bat when the muse casts no vapor?
“To get out of this slump I’ve got to choke up a bit,
Keep my head down, and just meet the paper.”
Why do authors’ hearts cease to beat
When set to dash off one last heat?
Why don’t writers finish what they start?
Sometimes the hearse gets put before the dart.
A boy in Random Harvest likes math so much
He cries when he reads the binomial theorem;
Some folks may find that quaint and such,
But personally I wouldn’t get near him.
Authors now sing this tune within their range:
“Many people today are exceedingly strange.
The evens must live across the ocean wide
Because the odds are all on our side.”
There are novels that never get finished,
But that is no reason to pout or yell;
Far better a good book that’s left undone
Than one that’s done but none too well.
Today’s heroes find it tough to cope,
For 300 pages they do little but mope;
If I’m offered one more tale of angst,
I think I will say, “No thankst.”
Wilde said George Moore showed one great sin:
He led readers to the latrine and locked them in;
Now writers and readers do their worst
To see which of them can get there first.
Some books have been censored in France,
I thought the French gave everything a kiss;
Here’s the only question they say “No” to:
“Have you had enough of this?”
A famous author “hated school as a boy.”
That makes the mind start to whirl;
I don’t think he would have liked it any better
If he had been a girl.
Those at the top are always writing
“With” an author who really does “most.”
When these celebs breathe their last,
They really do give up the ghost.
Some books of sayings don’t have noble goals
As when John Bartlett first took notes;
Soon to be on the best-seller lists
Is The Book of Generic Quotes.
All good authors should get a big hand,
They make living with books a happy fate;
But buyers and sellers belong in that band:
They also deserve who only plan and rate.