Martin Samuel: ‘Anyone for Tennis?’ and ‘Please Parse the Metaphor’

Anyone for Tennis?

I do enjoy verbal tennis
wordplay may be a game
outwit outsmart the opponent
is the only aim
lobbing phrases across the net
volley and rally back and forth
no one’s a loser and yet
those precious few
who think on their feet
will always win have you beat
Shakespeare is the all-time champ
merely a player with poem and sonnet
through thick and thin he’d go for a spin
and put some English on it
it’s fun for all with no balls or calls
and if your serve is up to scratch
unless words fail
at the thought you quail
it’s word game set and match

Martin Samuel


Please Parse the Metaphor

Do you have a poetic licence
to park your pitiful purple prose
(alliteratively he wrote)
it even puts my poor feet to sleep
and gives me painful coma toes
(literally did he quote)

and have you paid your syn tax
to persist in paltry poetry
(a non sequitur perhaps)
as dabbling in sad scribbling
is how your paean ’ppears to me
(no storied scripts mere scraps)

before paper and pen you pick up
or possibly parchment and quill
(pheasant not porcupine)
please procrastinate perchance to ponder
prior to putting out pig in a poke swill
(pearls of wisdom before swine)

Martin Samuel


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