I learn stuff from the Internet. My education improves with a mere click or two. Today, I increased my erudition by delving into the meaning and history of epigrams. Mr. Internet explains that: An epigram is a brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement. Derived from the Greek.
One dictionary definition reads that an epigram is: 1) A short, witty poem expressing a single thought or observation. 2) A concise, clever, often paradoxical statement. 3) Epigrammatic discourse or expression.
Another lexicon informs that an epigram is: Any witty, ingenious, or pointed saying tersely expressed. And is a short, often satirical poem.
Which leads me to realize that over the years I’ve produced epigrams, not to mention short terse poems, puns, limericks and parodies — some of ’em witty, many of them satirical if not downright insulting.
Here’s some favorite epigrams by famous people:
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.
~ Catherine the Great
If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and his impersonators would be dead.
~ Johnny Carson
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
~ Oscar Wilde
To err is human, but it feels divine.
~ Mae West
For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
~ Virginia Woolf
I’m not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I’m not dumb, and also I’m not blonde.
~ Dolly Parton
Never tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
~ Will Rogers
A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones who need all the advice.
~ Bill Cosby
Somebody’s gotta win and somebody’s gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose.
~ Pete Rose
It is better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
~ Abraham Lincoln
Years ago, I went through an epigram phase. Dredging through the dead pile of deceased bovines, I harvested rib bones. Then I hand-painted original whimsical gems on the bones. I think I called them Savvy Sayings or Bovine Edicts or ... well, I can’t really remember how I labeled them. But I sold them at craft bazaars. Here’s a few personally penned quips that I can recollect:
My housekeeping consists of planned chaos.
I have two cats; they let me live with them.
My dog’s name is Bailout — I didn’t want to name her Stimulus.
I’m working hard to get over old age.
Considering my age and my poverty I have no plans for the future.
I leant an ear and they called me an artist.
To the question: “How are you?” The reply is: I’m still on top of the grass.
And of course: I don’t cook, I don’t clean, I don’t take criticism. I live ... like a man. ❖