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  • 1980s Ranting Poetry: The Big J
  • Janine performed poetry in the 1980s as The Big J. This section contains poems, articles and other bits n bobs from this historic era.
  • Acrostics
  • An acrostic is a poem in which the first (or sometimes, the last) letter of each line spells out a word or phrase.
  • Ballads
  • Each stanza has four iambic lines, of four, three, four and three beats. The four lines rhyme abcb, and balladeers may use an internal rhyme in the first and third lines.
  • Festive Funnies
  • Some daftly-rewritten Christmas odes
  • Formal poetry
  • Villanelles, sonnets, haiku, limericks and more ... Not all Janine's poems follow strict forms, but these ones do ...
  • Clerihew
  • Four lines, two rhyming couplets. The first line is the name of a person. The rhymes and the line lengths are allowed to be - supposed to be, even - a bit rubbish.
  • Golden shovels
  • A golden shovel takes another poet's poem (or extract) and uses its words as the end words of the lines of a new poem. So if you read down the right-hand side, just the last word of each line, of the golden shovel, you will be reading the poem that inspired it. The golden shovel expands, develops or even changes the meaning of the original.
  • Haiku
  • First: five syllables Next line: seven syllables Last: five syllablesThere are some other rules too, but I'm ignoring them.
  • Limericks
  • Five-line poems, usually funny or light-hearted; the first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other; the third and fourth lines also rhyme with each other, and are shorter.
  • Pantoums
  • A form of poetry comprised of a series of quatrains; the second and fourth lines of each stanza being repeated as the first and third of the next, until the last stanza, where the second and fourth lines are the third and first lines of the first stanza. Got that? Good.
  • Sonnets
  • Fourteen lines of iambic pentameter. The two most usual rhyme schemes are ababcdcd-efefgg (English/Shakespearean) and abbaabba-cdecde or abbaabba-cdcdcd (Italian/Petrarchan). The move from the first eight lines (the octave) to the remaining six lines (the sestet) often sees a turn in the poem's theme or 'argument'. Plus some fourteen-liners that are not strictly sonnets.
  • Triolet
  • Eight lines. The first and second lines repeat as the seventh and last lines, and the first line also repeats as the fourth line. The rhyme scheme is  ABaAabAB, capital letters representing the repeated lines.
  • Four Lines That Rhyme
  • Quick quatrains with a rhyme scheme.
  • Villanelles
  • A nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five three-line stanzas (tercets) followed by a final, four-line stanza (quatrain).

Gideon’s Budget 2012

Two limericks for Gideon George Osborne’s 2012 Budget: 1. We can be sure that in Gideon’s budget However the media judge it There’ll be gifts for the rich For the rest, not a stitch And Labour’s poor leaders will fudge … Read more

Mrs Wales Is Having A Baby

There once was a princess called Kate Who noticed her period was late Each time she vomited The media commented And worshipped the future head of state 

An Ode to Tube Cleaning

A right filthy job is Tube cleaning We slave while the bosses are preening We work night and day No pension or sick pay And the wages are truly demeaning But cleaners won’t let them attack us Harass us, track … Read more

Justice For The 33

Throughout 2013, RMT members fought a struggle for the reinstatement of 33 agency workers who lost their jobs when their agency was (rightly) kicked off the Underground. I wrote this poem in support of that campaign. Eventually some, but not … Read more

Michael Gove Is Coming to Town

More of a Christmas carol than a poem, dedicated to our later, unlamented Education Secretary, and set to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town: You’d better not hope, dream or aspire Stay in your place, you won’t … Read more

We Three Kings

A variation on a festive favourite – to the tune of We Three Kings Of Orient Are: We three kings of austerity be IDS, Gideon and David C Finding ways To make you pay For capitalism’s misanthropy Oh-oh Cuts by daytime, cuts … Read more

Respect for the Dead?

Written on the occasion of the death of Margaret Thatcher in 2012. Today I mourn the passing of those who deserve our tears The many many victims of Margaret Thatcher’s years The teenage generation, hopes destroyed without a care Like … Read more

Bad Mayor Boris

To the tune of Good King Wenceslas: Boris Johnson once looked out Across the River Tha-ames In one direction poverty The other gold and ge-ems People slept on streets that night Though the frost was cru-el And pensioners in freezing … Read more

While Bishops Washed Their Frocks

Shortly before Christmas 2012, the Church of Engalnd voted not to allow women to become bishops. The decision to allow women bishops – with some qualification – was taken around two years later. To the tune of While Shepherd’s Watched … Read more