New con­test for Week 1219: Cast your Bred upon us

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS -

my name is Cow, and wen its nite, or wen the moon is shiyn­ing brite, and all the men haf gon to bed — i stay up late. i lik the bred. — Sam Gar­land, a.k.a. Poem for Your Sprog

The some­times mys­ti­fy­ing so­cial com­mu­nity Red­dit has been en­chanted hun­dreds of times over by Sam Gar­land, a post­doc­toral stu­dent who took to post­ing com­ments on a wide va­ri­ety of oth­ers’ Red­dit posts — in the form of rhyming poems. Last Oc­to­ber some­one posted an amus­ing anec­dote about a cow that had made her way into the kitchen of a re­cre­ated French fortress and started lick­ing all the loaves of bread — and Sprog re­sponded with the faux­Chaucerian dog­gerel above.

Al­most in­stantly, ac­cord­ing to the web­site Know Your Meme, “i lik the bred” sparked a new genre, with par­o­dies and sim­i­lar verses pop­ping up all over Red­dit and Tum­blr blogs, in top­ics rang­ing from kit­tens to Tu­dor his­tory. So let’s Invi­tize it: Write a Lik the Bred verse about some­one in the news lately. For our own pur­poses, here are the pa­ram­e­ters:

— It be­gins with “My name is . . . ” or some other firstperson in­tro­duc­tion. — It ends with “I [verb] the [noun].” You may sub­sti­tute “we” for “I,” and “a” or “my” for “the,” etc. — It con­sists of four rhyming lines, A­A­B­B (Sprog breaks them into eight, but we will prob­a­bly use a fourline for­mat to save space). Thirty­two syl­la­bles to­tal. — The me­ter is strongly iambic: ba­DUMP ba­DUMP ba­DUMP ba­DUMP. (My NAME is COW . . . ) — The spelling may be faux Mid­dle English but could also be mod­ern; the Em­press hopes to run both types. Ei­ther way, the verse shouldn’t be a slog to read.

Submit en­tries at this web­site:­ter-in­vite-1219 (all low­er­case).

Win­ner gets the Inkin’ Me­mo­rial, the Lin­coln statue bob­ble­head that is the of­fi­cial Style In­vi­ta­tional tro­phy. Sec­ond place re­ceives a brand­new Kreep­E, a two­inch­long, bright green elec­tronic in­sec­toid that scur­ries around with “re­al­is­tic bug move­ment.” Well, it at least vi­brates a lot. Do­nated by Loser Nan Reiner, who no doubt, like the Kreep­E, “self­cor­rects when flipped.”

Other run­ners-up win the new mug an­nounced to­day or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Pun­man­ship.” Hon­or­able men­tions get one of our new lusted­af­ter Loser mag­nets, “No Child­ish­ness Left Be­hind” or “Mag­num Do­pus.” First Of­fend­ers re­ceive only a smelly tree­shaped air “fresh­ener” (FirStink for their first ink). Dead­line is Monday night, March 27; re­sults pub­lished April 16 (on­line April 13). See gen­eral con­test rules and guide­lines at­vRules. The head­line for this week’s re­sults is by Jesse Frankovich; the hon­or­able­men­tions sub­head is by Roger Dal­rym­ple. Join the lively Style In­vi­ta­tional Devo­tees group on Facebook at­vdev. “Like” Style In­vi­ta­tional Ink of the Day on Facebook at inkof­day; fol­low @StyleIn­vite on Twit­ter.

THE STYLE CONVERSATIONAL The Em­press’s weekly on­line column dis­cusses each new con­test and set of re­sults. Es­pe­cially if you plan to en­ter, check it out at­conv.

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