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A Ventura victor and a Frosty invitation

The Verse or Worse electorate pounced on the chance to choose the best (or at least the most amusing) reason Jesse Ventura should skip the U.S. Senate race and run for president. And in their combined wisdom, they chose the entry from Mike Voigt, awarding him a lovely boa-ready MinnPost T-shirt.

Here’s his entry:

The addition of a third color to the election map will create confusion among voters not seen since the “Florida Hanging Chad” debacle of 2000.

And from the ridiculous we now move to the sublimely ridiculous. Perhaps you recall that last December a crowd of young people broke into the farmhouse near Ripton, Vt., where years ago Robert Frost spent more than 20 summers. Their beer party went south after a chair broke and someone threw it into the fireplace.

As a newspaper article described the rest of the evening’s entertainment: “When it was over, windows, antique furniture and china had been broken, fire extinguishers discharged, and carpeting soiled with vomit and urine. Empty beer cans and drug paraphernalia were left behind. The damage was put at $10,600. Twenty-eight people — all but two of them teenagers — were charged, mostly with trespassing.”

Recently we learned that in addition to community service and, for some, payment for some of the damage, almost all of those charged were sentenced to take two classes on Frost’s poetry. Prosecutor John Quinn said he hoped that, if they understood who Frost was, the teens “would be more respectful of other people’s property in the future and would also learn something from the experience.”

Therein lies this week’s challenge. Your genial host is providing the first line of a verse from a Frost poem, with one letter altered, and seeks a second line (or more) that might be added by one of the 25 latter-day Frost students.

Here’s your first line:

Whose words these are I think I know,

You provide the next, rhyming, line — or, if you prefer, the next three lines, using whatever rhyme scheme suits your fancy. (Your genial host would prefer not to further discuss your fancy.) Send in up to three such one-line or three-line entries.

As always, your genial host offers a not-especially-brilliant example, in this case a single-line addition to the given opening:

Whose words these are I think I know,
I never cared a whole lot though.

E-mail one, two or three entries (your genial host must protest the several individuals who continue to insist on sending no entries) to asicherman [at] minnpost [dot] com by 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 3.
At 2:01, your genial host will enter MinnPost’s cavernous Frost-proof refrigerator, dispose of the odd pile of yellow wood and harness bells, and begin to evaluate the entries, searching for the best five.

He will post those five on Monday, July 7. You will have until Thursday afternoon, July 10, to vote for your favorite, which will win an oddly poetic MinnPost T-shirt. The name of the winner will be posted on Monday, July 14, along with a new challenge.

For now, though, start versifying!
The darkness wells, it’s late at night,
But deep within, your muse burns bright.      
And you have poetry to write,
And you have poetry to write.

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