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Why Insects Donít Play Football

by Mickey 

Posted: 03 October 2018
Word Count: 153


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Centipedes in football games
are never asked to play,
‘cos tying up their football boots
would take the team all day.
 
Ladybirds have super strips –
black spots on red that gleam,
but they couldn’t play an aphid side
they’d eat the other team.
 
The skilful flying-tackling moths
would only play at nights,
but all their team would get sent off
for flying round the lights.
 
Busy bees in stripy shirts
are useful on the wing,
but when they lose possession
have a tendency to sting.
 
And would a physically fit team
ever heed their coaches,
if all the sides were managed by
great big fat cockroaches?
 
You couldn’t have a Youth set-up
and use the lads as subs,
‘cos insects while they’re growing up
spend all their time as grubs.
 
The problem of arranging games
you see is insurmountable,
and that is why no famous fly
has ever kicked around a ball.






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James Graham at 20:16 on 04 October 2018  Report this post
This poem is full of surprises. The whole idea is a surprise. The title says it all: ‘I wonder why insects don’t play football?’ isn’t a thought that perplexes anyone, anywhere. It’s totally absurd, and totally unexpected. Out of the blue. And it works. I imagine someone with zero sense of humour (I was going to say there’s no-one like that, but I’ve known one or two in my life) reading the title and saying, ‘That’s ridiculous! Of course they don’t, it’s obvious’, but any reader with any sense of humour at all would be intrigued by that title and wouldn’t be able to resist reading the poem.
 
They wouldn’t be disappointed. Every verse, every different insect, is good for a laugh. Every verse is clever and surprising. The centipedes taking hours to tie their laces, the moths leaving the field of play and fluttering round the floodlights – even getting frazzled on the lights and dropping dead – and the youth section being impossible because they’re all grubs: just a few examples. The distinctive strips of the ladybirds and bees – that’s a nice touch too. I even found myself following the weird logic of it, thinking things like: ‘Well, maybe if the centipedes had to be there by 10am and the game was at 3, they’d have time to get their boots on’! All part of the fun.
 
A note on the verse form. WW poets who write rhyming verse sometimes get bogged down trying to use a full rhyme scheme, e.g. ABAB CDCD. I’ve often thought how much easier it is to rhyme just alternate lines, as you do here. It does no harm whatsoever to the poem, and avoids those forced lines with contorted word order, and also words put there to make the rhyme but which are otherwise out of place. In this poem every line is a real punch line, and not a single line seems forced.
 
I did feel that the last verse, while not bad, could have a bit more oomph to it, but so far can’t come up with a better idea. I’ll think about it. It was a joy to read this poem – very clever stuff.
 
James.

michwo at 23:32 on 06 October 2018  Report this post
Mickey,
You've made my day!  You're Edward Lear and Lewis Carrol rolling out the rolling barrel!
The word 'insurmountable' doesn't quite rhyme with 'about a ball', it's true, but what about:
The problem of arranging games
you see is nigh insuperable,
and that is why no famous fly
has ever proved quite suitable.
(And now I suppose you could say 'insuperable' doesn't rhyme with 'suitable' either!)
Well done as always!

michwo at 00:05 on 07 October 2018  Report this post
Mickey,
I'm annoyed with myself now as to say 'nigh insuperable' of a problem or obstacle could mean, at a pinch, it might just be soluble/surmountable. So I've reworded my quatrain to read:
The problem of arranging games
you see is quite insuperable,
and that is why no famous fly
has ever yet proved suitable.

V`yonne at 17:36 on 07 October 2018  Report this post

managed by
great big fat cockroaches?


thay are aren't they cheeky

I think you could just go for

The problem of arranging games
is insurmountable,
which is why no famous fly
has ever played ball.

Like it!


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