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and Shadow Poems

By Josie Whitehead

Josie 2.jpg

You'll see lots of parody and shadow poems in the following index:   Our Poetical Language Index - Parody/Shadow Poems.

You'll also find them in my Alternative Nursery Rhymes in the index for  Younger Children 

So what is parody and what is a 'shadow poem'?  

PARODY: -  a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule.

In my own writing, I will take a well-known poem and, using the recognizable metre and rhyming style and, changing the words, I will write something quite different, but recognizable by the metre etc which I use.  ie: I've just taken the well-recognized children's nursery rhyme: 'Hickory Dickory Dock' in which the mouse runs up a clock etc, and in my own poem, there I am laughingly change the words to lament on the fact that when I look in the mirror, I see a face which has altered with old-age, and I also lament on the fact that my hair has turned white too.

I've Too Many Miles on My Clock

See also:  SHADOW POEMS - there are lots more here

SHADOW POEMS:  In the case of 'shadow poems', I 'shadow' the rhyming scheme and also the metre of a recognizable poem, and sometimes using the same subject, I write my own words - quite different to that which another writer has used.  This is all done for fun.  

COPYRIGHT:  Copying another person's actual poem, or even many of the words that have been used in his/her poem, is a serious offence.

Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. In simpler terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.

For example, many publishers will give a poet a legal agreement in which the ownership of one's written work becomes theirs to do as they wish with it.  If they do not continue publishing that poem, or poems, the poet is wise to make sure that the copyright is transferred back to themselves.  I have met one educational publisher who asked me to sign my copyright over to him, and two educational publishers who have not asked me to do this. 

So, when I see that my poems have been copied and made available to other people from someone else's website, or that a teacher has printed them off for use in their class without asking my permission to do so, I, and other poets too, will of course be rather angry at what has happened.  Be aware of this.  May I suggest that if you like the poem so much, why not 'shadow' it in an excellent poem of your own making instead?


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