Read-in workshop on 26th June 2021

Mike, Zoryana, Steffi and myself present

We had a Playing with Words session, led by Mike, who introduced us to Tom Swifties. These are “phrases in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed”. The name comes from the Tom Swift series of books (1910-today).

For example: “I’ll have another martini,” said Tom dryly.

“If you want me, I’ll be in the attic,” Tom said, loftily.

Steffi regaled us with a similar pun-loaded anecdote involving a German joke about the cat in the pub, going home with a “Kater”, but she’ll have to tell it herself later, since I’ve forgotten the middle bit. Mike has also forgotten the intro – but it was a translation problem. The punchline was when the cat said: “Leave the Collins, I’ll take the Tom”.

Mike continued with Edmund Clerihew Bentley, who invented the clerihew, an irregular form of humorous verse, e.g.

How odd

Of God

To choose

The Jews

Was this written by William Norman Ewer? (1885-1976). Another puzzle for later….

Why odd

Of God?

His son

Was one

And who wrote the reply? Unknown but comes from that book “Playing With Words”.

I read out a poem about my family, memories of childhood and also about my oldest son, which led us on to the next topic:

Memory lane: why do we keep things from the past? Mike mentioned boxes in his basement, and I spoke shortly about the “memory boxes” I put together for my children. Full of bits ‘n bobs from their past, artworks from kindergarten, their baby teeth in little wooden boxes with lids etc.

Then some general chat, when we came to the conclusion that Writers Ink members are all very busy, hence have no time for workshops.

To date, 82 entries for DPP. That’s pretty good, considering.

Idea for next session:

Lyrics of pop songs and how they work.