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April 7, 2014
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Gwen Petersen: In aSow's Ear 4-7-14

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.

~ Unknown

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. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Apr 3, 2014 11:56AM Published Apr 22, 2014 11:30AM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.