(Anapestic trimeter, in the vein of Edward Lear)

On June 19, 2007, an official presentation took place of the document “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road,” published by the Pontifical Council concerning self-control when stuck in traffic.


Now Driving can be an ordeal;
lord knows there are nuts on the road.
Do Papal decrees at the wheel
ensure that you’ll reach your abode?

I’ll gladly admit I’ve been frightened
and said, “holy mother!” at times,
but don’t see truck drivers enlightened
by making road rules holy crimes.

I can’t find good sense in all this;
the Pope’s deemed bad driving a sin.
If God wants to gorge the abyss
cartels are the place to begin.



Mr. Hagerman is a retired Vietnam Veteran, with a college education. He’s been published in Cowboy Poetry Magazine, site anthologies, and currently has a poem in Neologism Poetry Journal. He has been writing poetry for many years and does not limit his art to any particular form, or type. Stephen is currently living in the Great Northwest, he has been accused of having a self-confidence and wit that can be unnerving. ​

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2 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    So Stephen,

    Your poem was quite funny and endearingly poignant, but I noticed that every line began with an iamb. In light verse this type of substitution is perfectly regular, and the lines will be interpreted by some as amphibrachic, though the final anapest puts that analysis in doubt. I assume that you knew what you were doing, and I would like you to tell me what your actual plan was in terms of meter. By the way, converting iambs into anapests is fairly easy. For instance, line 1 could begin “Urban driving” and line 2 with “the lord knows,” and so forth. The overarching point is that meter is a tool, not a kind of shackle.

    • Stephen Hagerman

      Mr. Anderson you are correct. Each line begins with an iamb, as does much of Edward Lear’s poetry. This is part of the structure of a limerick. Perhaps you didn’t see the line that tops this post. “(Anapestic trimeter, in the vein of Edward Lear)”


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