Why is this chicken so upset? Does it have anything to do with his reasons for crossing the road? I’m still working on which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I do believe I’ve figured out why the chicken was so eager to get to the other side. Inspired by Theodore Roethke’s villanelle, “The Waking,” my villanelle and Roethke’s both appear in the excellent Everyman’s Library anthology, Villanelles, edited by Annie Finch and Marie-Elizabeth Mali.
The Spectator is a weekly British magazine founded in 1828. Every week it unveils a new humor competition. This poem of mine was one of the winners of a competition calling for winter-themed nonsense poems. (I’d be more flattered to have won were it not for previous measures of their literary taste, which include their 1853 review of Charles Dickens’s Bleak House declaring that Dickens amuses his readers “without profoundly affecting their intellects or deeply stirring their emotions.” As if that’s a bad thing!