A while ago when I was actively trying to increase my collection of beer quotations, the ones that randomly appear in the upper right-hand corner every time you reload the page, I kept finding ones that were part of larger poems. Having something of an obsession with words — and poetry for that matter — I made a page of beer poetry. When I come across another one I find interesting, I add it. There are now 22 of them. Some are quite old, some are by famous poets, and a few are just plain goofy. Take the one below, for example, a spoof of Joyce Kilmer’s famous Trees poem, credited to a Joyce Killjoy by a homebrew club in Boston, The Boston Wort Processors. They have their own small page of five beer poems, including this Trees spoof.
I think that I shall never hear
A poem as lovely as a beer
The brew that Joe’s bar has on tap
With golden base and snowy cap
The foamy stuff I drink all day
Until my memory melts away
Poems are made by fools I fear
But only the Worts can make a beer
Notice it’s 4 lines short from the original
and references the club in the final line.
It’s good on its own, but enter that word obsession of mine, and I couldn’t let well enough alone. I added the four missing lines and made several additional modifications. I think I improved it, but what do you think?
The original, by Joyce Kilmer
I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
My version, by me
I THINK that I shall never hear
A poem lovely as a beer.
A brew that’s best straight from a tap
With golden hue and snowy cap;
The liquid bread I drink all day,
Until my memory melts away;
A beer that’s made with summer malt
Too little hops its only fault;
Upon whose brow the yeast has lain;
In water clear as falling rain.
Poems are made by fools I fear,
But only wort can make a beer.