(written 9/88; Webbed 10/96)

Broken bottle: light liqueur lies

drying in a little puddle;

Molly-doggy, in a muddle;

Sally-puppy, seeking trouble;

licking liquid, liking liquor

lapping at the dripping ichor

Molly lagging, lollygagging,

dilly-dally, shilly-shally,

roly-poly silly Sally

willy-nilly, tripping, slipping,

dropping; stopping; dizzy buzzing;

Sally soon is busy dozing.

Molly boggles; giggling, wobbles,

slowing, stopping, yawning, napping.


This was the first, and probably the best, poem I wrote in the “Metrical Phonology of Poetry” linguistics seminar at Swarthmore, a combination poetry workshop and in-depth linguistics seminar. I was just playing with sounds of words, and it all came together rather nicely.

I was chagrined to later learn that ichor is pronounced EYE-kor rather than IH-kor, but I think it works okay even with the long i.