It’s that time of year again. The time for marking papers and preparing exams. Sometimes paper-marking inspires fits of anger and frustration. Other times it inspires poetry, which I offer to our readers below, with apologies to Lewis Carroll.

He thought he saw a hyperbolic
Comment overreach:
He looked again and found
An eccentricity of speech.
“Perhaps I’d better look,” said he,
“For someone else to teach.”

He thought he saw true talent
In an essay on Descartes:
He looked again and what he found
Quite rent his hopeful heart.
“I feel like quitting now,” he pined,
Before I even start.”

He thought he saw, but for a time,
A brilliant simile:
He looked again and saw instead
A bad analogy.
“If this be reasoning,” quoth he,
“Then reason I shall flee.”

He thought he saw an argument
With solid evidence:
He looked again: a mere assertion
Struggled to make sense.
“My brain is weary,” he complained,
“At such a lame defence.”

He thought he saw, while reading this,
A clever turn of phrase:
He looked again and, sad to say,
Sheer doggerel met his gaze.
“He’d best leave verse to other folk
Who know poetic ways.”

© David T. Koyzis, 2010

I invite readers to come up with their own stanzas, following the paper-marking theme, and leave them in the comments below. The metrical pattern is iambic.

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