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    There is a print newspaper which shall remain nameless that features a poem every week in its magazine section. The “poet,” who I’ll call Chatzkel Bolevnik, has even released a book of his musings. Usually his contribution to the publication is somewhat amusing and quite innocuous. Two weeks ago, however, he took the unprecedented step of mocking some of the folks who write into the paper in rhyme. Here’s just a small portion of the piece:

    “They write about drinking,

    And rhyme it with speaking,

    No, I’m not critiquing,

    I don’t know what they’re thinking.”

    Well, I took umbrage. And I generally don’t take umbrage unless it’s lying around and nobody else wants it. I found his attitude quite obnoxious. He was basically making fun of some of the people who pay his salary for composing his rather lame poems. Anyway, I hope he comes into the Coffee Room occasionally, because here is my answer to his offensive composition:

    And always been amused

    And though I found your poems cute

    Who write nice sonnets, too

    So please sit back and just relax

    While I explain to you.

    You do it every week

    But please, you have to understand

    So I found it unfortunate

    That you made the decision

    To treat your readers with disdain

    And even with derision.

    Last week you chose to ridicule

    The bards of Readers Write

    You pointed out their weaknesses

    But next time that you feel you must

    Make sure that yours is wonderful

    And perfect and sublime.

    Last week your cadence changed, you see

    From fourteen beats per verse

    That only made it worse.

    Most of your rhymes were pretty good

    But one brought me to tears

    After you read this letter

    That others too, do what you do

    Some even do it better!

    Have a wonderful Shabbos, Chatzkel!


    Excellent YaP!!


    It’s okay not to rhyme when you write each line

    Only if you aren’t trying to rhyme.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    What a great poem

    from our esteemed member,

    who calls himself, oddly,

    Yashi and Pember.

    He goes after “Bolevnik”,

    who writes insecurely,

    of readers who write,

    but make their rhymes poorly.

    He does so with humor,

    while taking his own advice,

    his cadence is perfect,

    his rhymes are precise.

    (While driving on the Goethals,

    I tried to rhyme with “umbrage”,

    But I could hardly concentrate,

    while crossing that dumb bridge.)

    A message from Chatzkel,

    to one Rocky Zweig,

    If the FJJ rejects you,

    maybe just shveig?

    The words that I write here,

    are purely in jest,

    have a gut voch, and until next week –

    hatzlocha, and all the best!

    Eli Bolevnik

    Dear Y&P & Daas Yachid,

    Please read my words

    On this wonderful site

    Cause someone named Dad

    Taught me how to write

    Week in and week out

    “Bolevnik” muses

    You, I, and him

    He surely amuses

    Frankly he’s too busy

    To read our hock

    He has so much to write

    And not much time on the clock

    However, I informed him

    About your little work

    He chuckled and laugh

    And left off with a smirk

    You see, every week

    His poem gets read

    Then dozens of Hockers

    Critique what he said

    Indeed, listen up

    And then you will see

    That imitation sure is

    The greatest form of flattery

    Yes you do have a right

    To write your own work

    But please do not act

    Like a glorified jerk

    Do not come to tears

    When “Bolevnik” mis-rhymes

    ‘Cause though he’s been writing for years

    He’s been wrong VERY few times!

    And you can call the Yated

    Say “Bolevnik is Sloppy”

    But remember that your FJJ

    Of the Yated, its one big Copy!

    I think perhaps your question

    Should be sent to the Rountable

    Maybe the Purim edition

    Will make it more Stable

    “Can I copy what

    A great writer writes,

    And mock it online,

    Will it create fights?”

    And all the Rabbanim will answer

    “No way! Go back to bed.”

    But Rabbi Kamenetzky will answer

    “Sure! Go right Ahead!”

    I hope I cleared up

    Everything here

    And you got your answer

    That “Bolevnik” doesn’t care

    About what you say

    What you write or you Blog

    He is way too busy

    So you can go take a jog

    He has many jobs

    And things to do

    But one is definitely not responding

    To people like you!

    So instead of him writing back

    I wrote back in lieu

    Do not critisize this poem

    Or go on a Rage

    ‘Cause this one was writen

    By someone less than half your age

    True, I’m bored enough

    To read this Hock

    And I read your poem

    Which put me in Shock

    Thats why I wrote

    This little “Muse”

    To inform everyone

    That might be confused

    This poem is not

    In defense of “Bolevnik’s”

    He does not need that

    He’ll write what he picks

    I hope your still reading

    ‘Cause this is the end

    Of my very long poem

    To which “Bolevnik” I’ll send!

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Dear Eli,

    Your poem is magnificent,

    You’re a chip off the old block.

    Please believe me when I say,

    I was’t trying to mock.

    Your father is wonderful,

    and his poems a delight.

    No offense was meant,

    when I sat down to write.

    I never even saw,

    the original ditty.

    So please forgive me,

    for trying to be witty.

    So please send your father

    my sincerest apology,

    because insulting another,

    is not in our theology.


    A poem should ideally be short,

    Never write more than a quart.

    Also, it’s a waste of time

    to stick words in just ’cause they rhyme.

    (see above)


    Dear Eli Bolevnik,

    While I did indeed criticize Reb Chatzkel (dad?), I did so only because he left himself wide open to criticism by mocking his own loyal readers. As far as imitation being the greatest form of flattery, I’ll have you know that I do not imitate anyone. I’ve been writing verse for the better part of fifty years and I’d match my work line for line against anyone who’s ever held a pen or punched a keyboard. Also, I find it totally inappropriate for you to refer to me as a “glorified jerk.” I did not resort to name calling and it’s frankly quite infantile for you to resort to that level of insult.

    PS By the way, the word in your last verse that you spelled

    y-o-u-r should have been spelled y-o-u-‘r-e. No need to thank me.

    Hatzlacha and Chag Kosher V’someach!


    these be dangerous waters…




    (what a shame, theres so much i have to say)


    The thing about poetry

    That’s sometimes a curse

    The writing most often

    Goes from bad to verse.

    I don’t like machlokess,

    Of that I’m quite sure.

    So please, no oneupsmanship,

    ’cause who’s keeping score?

    We all seem to have

    Much too much free time here.

    Isn’t anyone in the CR

    Making Pesach this year???


    Yes we are

    by the way

    this is free verse.



    Such talent!!!!


    oomis +1 and nice poetry skills!! Love the play on words too 🙂


    I enjoy reading poetry

    I find it relaxing

    But sometimes reading verses

    Can be very taxing.

    There are some people out there

    Who think that they can write

    As long it is rhyming

    The poem is alright.

    But poems need a rhythm

    The couplets need to flow

    The lines should be the same length

    Something real poets know.

    So have a read through my verse

    Count each line’s syllables

    And then you’ll get my meaning

    And write verse that’s billable.

    For those who really will try and count, let me save you the bother: I wrote this in an ABCB format, which means that the second and last line of each verse rhymes. Lines A and C contain 7 syllables each, and the rhyming lines 6. Example:

    I en-joy rea-ding poe-try (7)

    I find it re-lax-ing (6) etc

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