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A Poem for the Passing of 2009

Here, from a century ago, is the Post‘s review of the passing year in six “cantos” and an “ode.”

We offer it as a trivia challenge to historians, who should see how many of the references they understand. Several should be easy, such as President Taft, suffragettes, and the Wright Brothers, and others. But how many will ‘get’ the references to the Spanish revolution, “Mr. Raisuli,” Blériot, “Count Zep,” Payne, Hale, and “Brother Tilman.”

<em>The World, the Flesh, and 1909</em><br />by Wallace Irwin<br />January 1, 1910

The World, the Flesh, and 1909, by Wallace Irwin, January 1, 1910

We also offer this in homage to “Ima Ryma,” who has regularly provided sonnetized commentary on our Retrospective articles. In the new year, we promise to write on subjects that are easier to rhyme than “Pinchot,” “Nixon,” and “Yuletide.”

Read the original poem, published in January 1, 1910 [PDF].


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  • Frank James Davis

    Better stated, Ima: She is not nearly as well-versed as you.

  • Frank James Davis

    Very clever, Ryma. Actually, we may be related–I married Notta Ryma.
    She, of course, is not as nearly well-versed as you.

  • Ima Ryma

    Poet Irwin cantered all out
    On same old, same old politics
    That from nineteen oh nine, no doubt
    Still drag on – new names in the mix.
    Taft was obese as President.
    He got stuck in the White House tub.
    Today, I’m not sure that the gent
    Could get elected as a chub.
    Reading the rhyme reassured me
    I’m too lazy to do the work
    Of searching out whole history.
    A sonnet fits my rhymey quirk.

    Thank you much for your homage paid.
    This pleased sonneteer’s day you made.