November 28: Kumbel

Grook on Reason
It is a singular species of writer
Whose poems makes my sonnets seem loquacious,
And for their brevity shine all the brighter,
Each filled with wit intensely perspicacious.

For who needs fourteen lines when four express
Eternal wisdom on preparing toast,
Then followed by the key to artlessness,
And giving old folk proverbs a riposte?

The facile leaps from silly to profound
Are in the DNA of Piet Hein‘s grooks,
Which started in the Danish underground,
Now found online and in out-of-print books.

But like gems finely cut in color varied,
I think they’ll have a hard time staying buried.

4 thoughts on “November 28: Kumbel

    • I found them completely by accident- there was a book of them in a reception area at work, and I was enchanted. I found Grooks II on Paperback Swap and will be looking to increase my library. And of COURSE you’re one of the folks who knows them already šŸ˜€

  1. I remember discovering Grooks in the 1960s. I think Ars Brevis is my favourite. (I also own a Superegg …) Not long to go now, Libby!

    • I came across a book of grooks a couple of months ago at work and have been trying to find more of them ever since (I got one book on Paperback Swap). They are absolutely charming, often silly, and often profound (e.g., Who am I/To deny/That maybe/God is me), and I’m so happy to have found a contemporary-ish writer who’s writing in out-of-vogue styles of verse (for obvious reasons :D). And yes, I can’t believe I have fewer than forty sonnets left to write!

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