Poems that byte: Gene Weingarten's thoughts on data entry-level versification

Below the Beltway
(Eric Shansby)
  Enlarge Photo    
By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's not often that you see poetry about computer technology. The reason may be that the people most interested in computer technology are computer technologists, a group not naturally drawn to the literary arts.

Okay, I am being overly kind. In terms of poetic sensibilities, computer people don't exactly have tin ears -- it's actually worse than that. Because tin is a metal, it is able to catch sound waves and reverberate at least a little. Computer people's ears appear to be made of something much more dead to sound than is tin: Styrofoam, for example, or pudding.

I know this is an uncharitable generalization; I have arrived at it only reluctantly after reading the results of a recent online limerick contest by a techie Web site for techie types. One winner rhymed "whimsical" with "despicable." Another rhymed "hand" with "hand," and "book" with "myself." None of the limericks made any coherent point, and they failed with appalling inattention to meter. They all appear to have been wrought by persons whose language fluency is limited to HTML.

I've decided to show them the way.


Musicians who march for some teams,

In their dining will go to extremes.

They'll pig out through the night

Till their pants are too tight.

(You can have too much bandwidth, it seems.)


An inmate by name of Zaleski

CONTINUED     1           >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company