If you want to become a better golfer, find someone who has a great swing and try to copy it. Similarly, if you want to improve as a poet, find a great poem and see if you can write a parody. I had such an assignment in a poetry class a few years ago. The poem I selected was “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. If you remember, it ends with the lines,
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
The event that I wanted to commemorate with my poem was my first and only hole-in-one, on October 1, 2003. The poem I wrote is as follows:
A Good Walk Unspoiled
(With apologies to Robert
Frost and Mark Twain)
I hit a ball into the sky
I hit it from a perfect lie
From tee to pin one sixty four
If just to there the ball would fly.
I’ve hit few balls like that before
On line that orb did deftly soar
It sailed just like a diamond kite
How could I really ask for more?
Then on the green it did alight
But soon it disappeared from sight
I started walking towards the pole
Where did the golf ball end its flight?
Not in the trap, not by the knoll
Not on the green, but in the hole!
And on my card I wrote a one
And on my card I wrote a one.
Leon S White
This poem is included in my new book, Golf Course of Rhymes – Links between Golf and Poetry Through the Ages.