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The topic for this Write Off is: Soap

Soap Story

In the days of Lye and Lard knowing contents was less hard.
Here it is, my whole ugly story of soap made in a labrotory.
So be it if it is dense, this section was marked 'contents'

If I gave you Triclosan, would you clean your hands or get a tan?
Everybody's heard of water, but would a little Sodium Laureth Sulfate bother?
There's Sodium Laural Sulfate too, So what do all these sulfates do?
Cocamydopropyl Betaine, could a chemist tell me what that means?

If I committed Decyl Glucocyde would anyone in the place have died?
Sodium Chloride and Fragrence. Beans! They just want you to smell clean.
DMDM, well, you see, It saves space initially, but it don't mean a thing to you and me.
Hydantoin and PEG150 Methyl Glucose Dyoleate
Once I thought names made things easy, Now I know, but it's too late!

Cocamide Mia, Mamma Mia! Citric Acid, oooh! Etch me, babe!
Tetrasodium EDTA, Benzophoenone4, I say!
Polyquatenium7, Peg7, Seven make me want eleven!
Glyciryl Cocoate, DC green and yellow,
Thus desires elevate. They even use fake colors, fellow.

In the days of Lye and Lard, ingredients weren't that hard.
When you did the laundary your hands might bleed a little free,
To get soap you must boil a hog, stir the kettle, burn a log.
Still, whatever was in the stuff, you knew it would get you clean enough.

Paul Godfrey


The following comments are for "Soap Story"
by SamPark

Bring it on, Sampark!
My hat's off to you, my friend! This is a terrific poem, much cleverer than mine. I got a little lost in the chemistry, but maybe that's just because it ain't my inclination!

Clever, fun, bizarre -- all good.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: January 24, 2005 )


( Posted by: FangChen [Member] On: January 24, 2005 )

Sam's soupy soup Chems
Wow I am impressed with both stories...this is really going to be a very difficult choice to favor, because each one of these entries are so strongly written with awesome intellegence.
Paul this is good, bravo. Makes me want to read throuroughly what I bath and wash my hair with..and my 4 little foster kids..YIKES!!!


( Posted by: Dareva [Member] On: January 24, 2005 )

Soap is simple
I liked your poem although I think I sprained my tongue/brain trying to say all those crazy ingredients. But I liked the fact that your's was actually about soap.

Good show.

( Posted by: Jeff [Member] On: January 25, 2005 )

Write off- Sampark
Hi there! It is so nice to see you around again. I enjoyed your poem, made me keep rereading because of the ingredients, I guess I am a little slow. I gave the nod to Viper because I too probably would have gone with a less technical approach, being that I understand it. Great job!


( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: January 25, 2005 )

The Unpronouncables.
A few years ago in the UK, there was a beer advert on TV which did a send-up of the movie 'The Untouchables'. The ad was called 'The Unpronouncables', and the characters spent their 30 seconds trying (and failing) to order various obscure foreign beers before finally ordering the brand being advertised.

The reason I mention it is because that's pretty much how I felt trying to read your poem.

I can see what you were trying to do, and it's a great idea, but I just couldn't manage to wade my way through it all without stumbing over syllables, at least once or twice, and the effect of that is to break the flow of the poem.

The actual theme you've picked up on is an excellent one (and one I fully agree with), and when I was able to read it, it does actually work quite well. I think this is one poem I'd need to hear actually being read aloud in order to get the full effect.

So sadly, I'm afraid I'm going to mark you into third place.

Thanks for the read, though :)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: January 25, 2005 )

This reminds me
of the good old days...we used to save all our old grease for the neighbor lady who had eight kids...She made her own lye soap and they used it for everything from washing themselves to washing clothes...I even tried washing my hair with it once...I just thought it was so great to make your own look what's in the stuff we use...Yuck!...Great Soap Story...Kacee

( Posted by: Nitz Kitty [Member] On: January 25, 2005 )

soap gets in your eyes
Thank you all for your very well-made comments. As the Mock Turtle said through his tears to Alice: 'Soap, Soap, Beautiful Soap! There's nothing so tasty as Mock-Turtle Soap!
I have really enjoyed all of your comments on this and other poems.

( Posted by: SamPark [Member] On: January 26, 2005 )

chaotic chemically induced soap
All three of you have pondered and risked yourself on the tongue-in-cheek aspects of soap. I admire (and laud) the contrasting views shared by these writers.

I sense an echo of postmodern poetry here. I am not much into it, though, but you have managed to give us YET another interesting "history" of Soap.

( Posted by: Idomis [Member] On: January 26, 2005 )

...I think I'm with Spud on this one when he said that this poem needs to be read aloud to have full effect. Reminded me of a Weird Al son. That being said, you gave us some interesting factual tidbits, but it didn't stir me as the other two poems did. I guess I am picky with my poetry - it needs to kick me, and kick me hard.



( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: January 26, 2005 )

I love the way this reads aloud. This is by far my favorite out of the three. Good luck to you!

( Posted by: Cynical_Scribe [Member] On: January 27, 2005 )

Laura and Hearty
Yeah, but in the days of old they would use crude caustic soda to make sure the soap is not to ugly and goopy. The soda, and lye as well, corrodes skin. Tallow rots and invites infection.

Modern soaps are based on building blocks synthesized from ethylene, which is also the backbone of good ol' drinkin alcohol. EDTA - ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid is nothing else but that building blocks plus vinegar.

Lauryl alcohol is based on lauryl fatty acid found in most vegetable and animal fats. But to have a plentiful supply of the high-quality, consistent material for cosmetic industry the lauryl, like all other building blocks of detergents, is synthesized of the same ethylene.

Mono-ethylamine is a close relative of vodka. And in amides it helps to soothe the acid-base balance and not rob your wife's skin of crucial moisture.

Remember Citric acid - this is the center of all life - this acid is the chemical that drives every human being.

PEG is polyethylene glycol, which means a lot of ethylene glycol, just like the one you have in wine along with propylene glycol.

Oleate is the working backbone of Oleic acid - THE fatty acid that you know as Olive oil (the hint is in the name).

Coca- prefix is obviously a product of coconuts.

Glucose you ingest with fruits and sugar, and glycoside is found virtually in every bean, lentil and grain.

Don't overlook the fact that the mixture thereof has been checked on 5 gigatrillion animals just to make sure no baby or a gentlest of women is hurt by the concoction of all of the above.

I have read many simplistic complaints about consumer products, but in this write off I expect the complaint to be substantially artistic. You don't need to be a chemist to brew some potent poetic pixie dust out of chemical linguistics, the rhymes, and word associations.

I've read similar material on Charles Kuralt, Lake Woebegone, and countless small town op-eds.



( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: January 27, 2005 )

YES!!!! THATS IT!!!!!
It is humor. There is no angst. All it is supposed to be is fun to read. If you read it and didn't have fun, the poem failed with you, If you laughed enough to say you had fun, that was it! All of it.
By the way, my non-stick friend, that was an awesome comment. I offer you my currently dead last medal and toast you with flat diet coke, I Love It! Samp.

( Posted by: SamPark [Member] On: January 27, 2005 )

Funny and fun
Yes this one is fun to read Sam and very well done. It is so different from the others that it is hard to pick now. Although for me it's not a winner, it scores high for smartness and being well worked. Also having done one of these now, I understand there may well have been some unusual restrictions that we are not aware of in the rules for this subject. warm regards huni.

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: January 29, 2005 )

More Stand-up Than Story
Sampark, reading through your poem, I could imagine Jerry Seinfeld performing it as a spontaneous riff on soap. On the one hand, it's clever and cute; on the other hand, it struck me as rather unstructured and unedited. Some of the lines, especially the second in your final stanza, where you rhyme "laundary" and "bleed a little free", seemed forced (especially since you're not sticking to a formal rhyme scheme to begin with and bleed would have worked as a near rhyme on it's own, without the awkward addition of a little free)

Nevertheless, a lark of a poem.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: January 31, 2005 )

thanks to all
When my daughter was about eight years old, she and I went on a double-loop roller coaster. The ride was fabulous, but I thought the wait in line was going to kill her. Nevertheless, the first thing she said on exiting the car was "Lets do it again!"
I will echo that, and say that this write off was a lot of fun, including the criticisms. If you check out my next poem, it is not comic in any way, but you know there will be more eventually. I only want to say that if Mr Seinfeld expresses the least bit of interest, he can have it!

( Posted by: SamPark [Member] On: January 31, 2005 )

I loved the poem, Sam, and I think most people who read it would agree that it was an accomplishment in itself! You were a worthy competitor -- I'll be sure to keep an eye out for your work!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: January 31, 2005 )

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