Scott Cawelti

About Scott Cawelti -

Scott Cawelti was born and raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He taught writing, film, and literature at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) from 1968-2008, and has written regular opinion columns and reviews for the Waterloo / Cedar Falls Courier since the late 1970s.  He played for years in a folk duo with Robert James Waller and still regularly performs as a singer/guitarist/songwriter. Scott continues to teach as an adjunct instructor at UNI.

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  • Political Limericks Keep Arriving

    • Posted on Oct 30, 2012 by Scott Cawelti

    LIMERICKS COMING IN—people remember political limericks fondly, evidently.  I keep hearing from skilled limericists (is that a word?) who send them along in honor of the current campaign.  These came in recently, one on e-mail and the others on Facebook.   Note:  in David Grant's limerick, Jill Stein is the Green Party Candidate, evidently—as I noticed on my ballot when I voted today in Cedar Falls. 

    Hey, they’re great fun. Send more anytime to my e-mail or comment here: cawelti@forbin.net 

    From Martin Hoel in Waterloo: 

    The campaign ads were all wrote,
    To slander, deceive and misquote.
    All the babies were kissed,
    All the B.S. was dished,
    May we please just get on with the vote?

    And David Grant in Cedar Falls:

    Poet Cawelti felt fine,
    His vote was cast before time.
    For honor, for truth,
    for Republic, forsooth,
    He checked the box marked "Jill Stein."
    Description: -)

    From Steve Maravetz, a Facebook friend:

    A rich guy, not from Nantucket.
    Whose fibs scraped the dregs from the bucket.
    He was gray at the ears
    And he'd forsaken beers
    And when questioned, he always would duck it.

    And David Adamson, a Cedar Falls native long gone, but who’s still in touch via Facebook:

    Just what did we all do to rate
    So much blather piled on our plate
    With surrogate minions
    Spreading opinions?
    Its hell to live in a swing state.

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    Posted in
    • Cedar Valley Chronicles
    • Politics
    • Political Limericks
  • Winning Political Limericks at Last for 2008

    • Posted on Sep 07, 2008 by Scott Cawelti

    9-7-08

    The Partys’ parties are over, and so’s the Free Lunch Political Limerick contest.

    Since the contest began in late April, I’ve received dozens of entries, most of them genuine limericks, and many of those actually witty and or wise, and a few downright memorable.

    First, though, here are two of mine, since hardly anyone submitted limericks using the recently-named VP candidates:

    A toast to Barack and his Veep,

    Joe Biden, a man with some deep

                Life lessons, it seems

                He’s had broken dreams

    Yielding wisdom, which never comes cheap.

    And for John McCain’s bombshell choice:

    Now John M. and Sarah are sailin’

    Yet try as I may, I keep failin’

                To make any sense

                Of his vice-president

    Would YOU believe in a President Palin?

    Now the chosen ones.  Hillary proved a popular subject.  From Marilyn Anderson in Cedar Falls:

    Hillary, a sturdy contender

    Was flatly averse to surrender.

                She proved a big spender

                Advancing her gender,

    Her task now—a party rift mender.

                Another from Rita Kies in Jesup:

    When Chelsea asked Obama

    Who he feared besides Osama

                With a deep sigh

                He looked in her eye,

    And said, “I think it’s your momma.”

    And this on McCain’s domain, from Dixon Stuelke in Waterloo:

    Confronting the proper and prim in

    His picks shows old age ain’t dimmin’,

    From marriages (twice)

    To presidents (vice),

    His penchant for pretty young women!

    Larry Secrist in Waverly offers this fond hope:

    Let’s hope on election night

    That we’re able to get the count right.

    No machines going bad

    Not one hanging chad

    And the losers concede without fight. 

    A comment on the economy from Jerry Nissen in Cedar Falls:

    The rich and the powerful gain,

    From a ride on the “free market” train.

                But if you are without

                A big off-shore account,

    You’re stuck with the bills and the pain.

    John DeLorb of Waterloo isn’t too happy with the war hero:

    GOP, oh must you complain

    You’re blest with the brave John McCain

                But where is his fire?

                The will to inspire?

    Could it be the same old refrain?

    Nor is Marilyn Desmond of Waterloo:

    Some say McCain’s a curmudgeon

    He seems in a state of high dudgeon

                He’s set in his ways

                Cannot be swayed

    Even with forcible nudgin’.

    And a not-so-worshipful verse about Barack, from Arlo Doughty in Waterloo:

    He went to Wright’s church for some years

    But he must have had wax in his ears

                The things that were said

                The things that were read

    To most anyone would have brought tears.

    And a sharp comment on the state of racial harmony from Grant Veeder from Waterloo:

    It’s down to McCain and Obama

    In this year’s electoral drama

                So what are the chances

                For racial advances

    Without a big national trauma?

    And now, the winning entries and limericists:

    The only limerick that commented on the darkest of dark horses:

    Say, who is that strange masquerader—

    Portraying an ancient crusader?

                Hell bent to upend

                An election again,

    Why, it’s Al Gore’s old buddy Ralph Nader. 

                That’s from winner 1, Robert Gremmels of Waverly.  He’s a master limericist, having sent a dozen or so, all of them as good as political limericks get.

                And this, from winner 2, Ruth Anne Schneck of Waterloo, for this mysterious limerick on one candidate’s dream of kingship: 

    Once a man threw his hat in the ring.

    He thought that he’d like to be king.

                He woke with a start

                Found that he’d lost his own part

    And learned that he’d just had a fling.

                Thanks to all the versifiers who submitted; great fun for me. And congratulations to Ruth Ann and Robert, two witty and wise limericists.  I’ll be contacting you about that free lunch.            

               

               

               

                

    Go comment!
    Posted in
    • Cedar Valley Chronicles
    • Political Limericks
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