December 8, 2020

DEC 8, 2020: the origin of our "bloggerel": song-lyrics, poetry, wordplay and photography

SONG LYRICS: Starting in 2011, we had contributed parody song-lyrics to "AmIRight", the most extensive website publishing this type of doggerel on the internet. That website offers authors the advantage of immediate publication, but does not provide editing or post-submission modification. Not surprisingly political and social satire are major elements in AmIRight's table of contents. As I (G.H.) was still personally in sober professional practice at that time, I attributed the submitted works to a pseudonym, and Giorgio Coniglio, a registered practitioner in that field volunteered his writing talents arduously in that regard. After a few years we had contributed some 150 singable entities, but the intense polarization in American society threatened to disrupt the enjoyment previously experienced by AmIRight's cadre of volunteer writers. You can find some of those earlier songs (with familiar tunes, but bizarre lyrics) posted on our current blog "Edifying Nonsense"

POETRY: Although, Giorgio and I occasionally still launch into song, we turned our attention in 2016 to poetry. (To be honest, a dozen or so poems had been published earlier as "filler" in medical journals).  We found a "home" for many of our poetic inclination in OEDILF (the Omnificent English Dictionary iLimerick Form), a more-or-less collaborative website, that insists its mission was to create a dictionary with a definitional poetic "tribute" written to every meaning of every word in the language. To ensure this goal is approached in orderly fashion, OEDILF has gradually widened a narrow alphabetic window starting at A-, so that after almost 20 years of effort, poems are being submitted for dictionary entries with key words starting with the letters Ho-, but no further. Acceptance of verses for publication involves mandatory adherence to strict rhyming and scansion, and the use of grammatically correct, standardized language appropriate for the part of the English-speaking world from which the author hails, modified by specific dictionary requirements. 
  Topics that we found of interest include medical and health terms and issues, Canada and Canadianisms, wildlife and nature, wordplay and foreign languages, particularly French and Italian, among others, influenced primarily by our life-experience. Our personal take on this editing process provides difficulty, as we are prone to extend our verses, albeit with limerick-like structure, to more than the customary 5 lines (we ourselves have called these longer verses "limerrhoids"). The rigorous editing process involves polite acceptance or impeccable disputation of colleagues' suggestions, with eventual approval by 4 other members, and further intervention by an assistant editor, and may take anywhere up to a year. To date (2024), we have almost 700 verses accepted, and over 100 more in the works. 
  The use of illustrative photos or computer art, and the merging of these multi-media concoctions are in no way related to OEDILF; they are the concepts and creations only of the authors. Moreover, we should mention that we have also blogged a variety of other types of poetry, not in the purview of OEDILF, that includes Shakespearian blank verse, blank verse and haiku.

WORDPLAY: Like most writers and editors we love words. They are the basis of many of our song lyrics and poems. One of the greatest elements of wordplay is rhyme, a fact that provides some explanation for our persistence in lyrics and poetry. You will find a fair amount of better-defined wordplay on our blogs, including foreign-language borrowings, palindromes and anagrams. In certain cases we have gone to extremes, including "magic" palindromes, anagram wordplay-maps, and spoofs on classic palindromes, etymology and grammar rules. Because these activities consume a lot of time and effort, we have often been drawn to describe them in verse, posting those on the OEDILF site for editing and publication. And, although we are likely to have initiated a fair proportion of the "new" concoctions, we have not attributed them, as such material is lurking and waiting to be found among the letters and words, rather than "created".      

PHOTOGRAPHY: Dr.G.H. spent the latter part of his professional career dealing with the interpretation of low-resolution nuclear images in medical diagnosis. So we have a deep interest in visual documentation whose technique renders the key features obvious. For spontaneous nature photography on bicycle expeditions the cell-phone-camera is an obvious choice for portability, although resolution at a distance is an issue. Most of our photographs have been obtained with an i-phone 13, whose "live" feature provides an advance when the subject is moving. These photos enhance the "life-experience" nature of the posted material. On occasion, to make a point in a multi-media display, we borrow a relevant photo from the web, these are flagged by the term "web-photo", with colour coding of the text background, but space generally does not allow or mandate a full disclosure of the source. The reader is asked to please check these out, if indicated.      

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