GGA Rhyme Scheme

     ‘Tis Spring, or so they tell me.  Living in the Midwest, we all know it isn’t REALLY Spring until we have put our winter coats away for the season…for the fourth time.  (My personal record for winter coat wearing is June fifteenth, but they aren’t making summers the way they used to.)

     In any case, spring is a time for flowers and joy and poetry.  In the days when newspapers published poetry regularly, the staff poets as well as those who wrote in to the editor with verse would be filling column space with sonnets and odes which treated spring once again with rhymes and images exactly like the ones they’d used last year.  And the year before that.  (Spring is a time of rebirth.)

     It has been a while since we have discussed postcard verse in this space, so I thought I’d see what new couplets and quatrains had appeared in my inventory since last time.  And I was shocked—SHOCKED, I say—by the number of poems which appeared simply as an excuse for another picture of a woman.  Postcard companies were run by people who knew what the market wanted and poetry ran a distant second to what is known to collectors as GGA, or Good Girl Art.  (I have never understood this, myself.  What’s Bad Girl Art then, I wonder to myself.  Bad poetry I can figure out, but…well, let’s move on.)

     I seem to recall there was a term for the sort of verse illustrated at the top of this column: verse that rhymes but follows no particular meter or rhythmic design.  I don’t THINK it was “crummy”, but it weas something like that.

     We have met this young lady and noted her rhymes before, but she was in the bathtub those other times, and here she is more securely clad, if only for a few more seconds.

     Here we have a postcard on which the picture and the poem perfectly match.  They are pretty and pleasant…and the more you look at them the more you notice they don’t quite work.

     But the postcard companies kept trying to give us women and song suitable to go with our wine.  Even the Dutch kids got in on the poems and pretty faces genre.

     Of course, the naysayers had their day, too.  Postcards describing the falsely fair were available as well.

     And here is an early attack on the health food industry.  (As well as another insult to those of us with natural beauty spots.)

     Romance, however, motivated most of these poems, which sometimes necessitated the presence of a man to contemplate the women involved.

     Occupying his mind even when they were not present and he had other things he ought to be working on.

     Timid and unsure, these men approached the objects of their affection with trembling knees and shaky verse.

     The truly timid had only pipe dreams of pretty faces to rely upon, waiting in sorry solitude for Leap year, when a woman could propose to them.

     The result, of course, was exquisite happiness, which the postcard poets were overjoyed to celebrate.

     Kind of a pity they went on rhyming after that.    

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