Series Details

Hi, I'm Emily Bronto, Bikwil Pet of the Year

Bikwil salutes language, literature, music, nature, the performing arts, hobbies, science and humour

Description of Bikwil Series

The occasional series described here are the ones that have multiple contributors.  For a complete contents list, see our Series Catalogue.

Down Limerick Lane
Dreadful Doggerel
The Feral Joke Collector
Hooked on Jazz
Meet a Quiet Enthusiast
Memorable Moments in Music
Now for a Clerihew
Postal Fever
Spellbound
Stepping Stones
Up-front Popularizers
Where Three Ways Meet

 

 

Down Limerick Lane

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Little needs to be said of this series except to point out that all limericks published in Bikwil must be the original concoctions of their authors.  As with any contribution to Bikwil, however, pseudonyms are permitted.

 

Dreadful Doggerel

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As you might anticipate, authors offering their awful ditties under this banner prefer to use pseudonyms.  The series was first suggested in the following words by a certain Percy of Putney way back in Issue 3 (September 1997):

Why not invite pseudonymous contributions of original Dreadful Doggerel?  Then, once there have been, say, a dozen printed, readers could be asked to vote on their ghastliness: from an A for extremely vile to a Z for uncommonly tolerable, i.e. the worse the verse, the better the letter.

So far (despite repeated promises by others to contribute, plus the opportunity to cloak their identities), very few intrepid souls have ventured into this minefield.  The competition therefore remains open and voting is postponed until enough entries are received.

 

The Feral Joke Collector

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Here is an extract from the Editorial to Issue 14 (July 1999), when the idea was first discussed of introducing an occasional column of "did-you-hear-the-one-abouts":

Of course, any given yarn could easily turn out to be old hat to you.  Jokes have this genetic propensity, donít they, to self-replicate so fast that, before you know it, almost everybody is telling 'em?  If you see some here like that, please bear with us ó we promise that one day youíll turn the page and there will be the gag thatíll make you the life and soul of your next dinner party.

As with Where Three Ways Meet, The Feral Joke Collector does not demand originality or even acknowledgment.  In fact, all FJC items will simply carry the tag "Forwarded by . . ."

 

Hooked on Jazz

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How did you get started in jazz?
 
Perhaps you heard a record on the radio that seemed somehow "different" to all the other music they played. It certainly wasnít classical music, but it had some special quality that attracted you away from the run-of-the-mill pop music everyone else listened to.

Maybe an uncle of yours turned up with a new record: "Youíve got to listen to this!" Or was it seeing the movie The Glenn Miller Story?

(From the Editorial to Issue 41, January 2004)

Whatever it was, if you love jazz, youíll be sure to remember that magic occasion. So write your own Hooked on Jazz reminiscences and tell us all about it.

 

Meet a Quiet Enthusiast

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This series is simple to explain.  It takes the form of an interview with a Bikwil contributor (or perhaps a non-contributing reader).

 

Memorable Moments in Music

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From the Editorial to Issue 13 (May 1999):

It is intended that these articles will celebrate exceptional moments (or strings of moments) in musical history that are worth reflecting on, more for their individual human or wider social significance than for their technical content.

Some are poignant, others exciting, some funny, others downright bizarre, but none is easily forgotten.

 

Now for a Clerihew

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Here are the "rules" for writing a clerihew, as set out in Issue 44 (July 2004):
 
Itís biographical in content;

Itís funny;

It has four lines, rhyming aabb;

The first line almost always ends with the subjectís name;

"The number of accents in [each] line is irregular, and one line is usually extended to tease the ear. Another requisite of the successful clerihew is [at least one] awkward rhyme . . . The humour of the form lies in its purposefully flat-footed inadequacy: in addition to clumsy rhythm and rhyme, the verseís treatment of the subject is either off the mark or totally beside the point, as though it were the work of a reluctant school child."
(Encyclopśdia Britannica)

 

Postal Fever

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Contributions to this series concern members of an all-too-rare species of beast (almost as rare as brontos) ó periodicals that are available regularly for free, or at negligible cost.  Catalogues posing as "bulletins" or "reviews" are excluded.

 


Spellbound

 

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Spellbound is a series of readers' photos of public notices that contain errors (often in the spelling) or awkwardly expressed messages.  Such photos of real places are often submitted pseudonymously.

 

Stepping Stones

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The following description of our Stepping Stones essay experiment is extracted from the Editorial to Issue 16 (November 1999).

Participants are invited to write an essay linking several assorted subjects. Usually these would be five to seven famous people, but they could be places or events. The links might be tenuous but should be factual, and in the interest of Bikwilian informality there can be expatiatory digressions.

The crucial principle is that, while each subject has something in common with the next, each successive pair enjoys a different link from that of the previous pair. For example, A and B might share the same birthdate, but B and C donít Ė their connection is that they each wrote a poem called Waves. D mightnít be a poet but, like C, she is blind. E isnít blind but he once met Albert Einstein at a party, as did D. Etc., etc.

 

Up-front Popularisers

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Here we pay tribute to those men and women with the gift of being able to illuminate abstruse interests with entertaining clarity.  As we wrote in Issue 8 (July 1998),

Do you have a favourite creator of a "Made Simple" book or broadcast programme, however old, you'd like to extol in Bikwil? Jacob Bronowski, say, or Jostein Gaarder, Robert Hughes, Julius Sumner Miller, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, H.G. Wells, Sister Wendy Becket . . .

Ok, then, let's hear about the popularizer you especially like.

 

Where Three Ways Meet

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This where Bikwil keeps safe its cherished trivia oddments.  Why the title?  If you don't know any Latin, check "trivia" in a dictionary that gives derivations.  The series began with Issue 6 (March 1998), with the following invitation:

Send 'em in, all those bits of trivia (any topic), wherever you find 'em ó your office's bulletin board, the Net, your local rag. None need be original, of course, nor need the source be acknowledged. WTWM, like other columns of its ilk elsewhere, will be unblushingly plagiaristic, and therefore, no doubt, largely pseudonymous.



 

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