Mechanics Monday: Epigrams

Epigrams are short, witty poems that use paradox and contradiction to make a point about a particular topic. Often, they are only one sentence long. Sometimes, they even rhyme. And some are taken from a larger body of text. Emily Dickinson and William Blake are among the well-known poets who have written them.

Epigrams are thought to have originated in Ancient Greece although ancient versions were not always as concise as modern.

They are not only used in poetry. Particularly witty comments that become really well-known are often considered epigrams as well.  Oscar Wilde and Benjamin Franklin are among the non-poets widely credited for epigrams.

Some famous epigrams include:

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. – Ogden Nash “Reflections on ice-breaking”

To be modern is the only thing worth being nowadays. Oscar Wilde

Here lies my wife: here let her lie!
Now she’s at rest — and so am I.  –
John Dryden

It’s amazing how a form that is so apparently simple could be so tricky to write. I suppose this would come more naturally to someone who is a comedian or just brilliant at being a smart ass. As for me, I’m the kind who usually thinks of something 20 mins after it would’ve been used to best effect.

I like to think I’m improving though. So I tried to write an epigram. You ready?

No form of birth control is 100% effective, not even abstinence.

By the way, the blog I snagged this picture from was highly entertaining.  I never would’ve thought to write a blog post about why Jesus is badass or Jesus vs. Chuck Norris but… I agree and LOL. Since I was thinking about it. Okay, I’m done rambling now.

When I called my step-dad to run my epigram by him and ask if he had any pithy statements for this post, he gave me this gem.

No form of birth control is foolproof, there’s a new fool born every day. – T.J Byrd


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