23 days, 11 hours, 18 minutes and 29 seconds until Christmas Day which means 24 days, 12 hours, 31 minutes and 29 seconds for WrapperRhymes to arrive at my door.
If you haven't heard about the international call-out for WrapperRhymes, where have you been? Entries have been being shared on Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook ever since 8 June 2019 when the whole idea was launched. (To find them search under the hashtag #HapWrap.)
Since then many envelopes have tumbled through the door here containing wrapper-rhymes of all shapes and sizes, many of them flagrantly and deliciously breaking all the rules. We have even had wrapper-rhymes that didn't rhyme.
But there's still time left for you to join the fray, if you're reading this before Christmas 2019.
Please do one, or more, and share the idea with as many friends as possible. They don't have to be poets. Just people who like rhyming.
Plans are afoot to display them in all sorts of different ways, suspended in strings, on shelves, tables, floors, walls. It will be a memorable event reaching its highpoint at StAnza in St Andrews with a marvelous display of the entries. At 15.45 on Friday 6 March, if you're there for the festival (and why would you not be?) you can come along and hear me talking about them and sharing some aloud.
The genre (as you can read in the original blog) was first thought up by Ted Hughes, with a nonsense rhyme in the vein of Ogden Nash. But since we launch the WrapperRhyme challenge other sub-genres have emerged. There may be some singing....
Why? Well because of the genres that have emerged. For example, there's the song-lyric WrapperRhyme, also known as The Cornetto (launched by Walls in 1982, though alas not written on a Cornetto wrapper). Song-lyric WrapperRhymes have appeared on the wrappers of tins of tomatoes (Why, why, why, tomato) and on wine labels (The Wichita Wine Man). The most recent was on Cadbury's Darkmilk (King of the choc).
Then there is the noble-poem-parody WrapperRhyme, to which Emily Dickinson, W H Auden, Robert Frost, John Keats and William Wordsworth have all fallen victim. It is not their fault.
There is the Deliberately Bad Wrapper-Rhyme of which McGonagall would have been proud, and the Comment-on-health-benefits Wrapper-Rhyme (we have had rhymes on food which had almost nothing harmful in it, as well as the polar opposite).
Some of the very best WrapperRhymes received so far have been short, sweet and extremely pithy. The WrapperRhyme couplet should never be underrated, nor the WrapperRhyme epigram.
In fact, the WrapperRhyme is a unique celebration of the fact that poetry is allowed to play and absolutely everyone can join the game.
(Entry form and rules here.)