I’m sure there are still readers who remember “Sooner Stanzas,” the rhymes written by the late Oklahoman and Times editor Emery Winn.
He began his career with The Oklahoman in 1947 and soon after began the “Sooner Stanzas.” For 25 years, he worked as an editor, being described, at his retirement as copy desk editor for the Oklahoma City Times in 1971, as “poet laureate of the hill and one of the finest desk men in the annals of American journalism.”
The Oklahoma Publishing Company’s company magazine, “Cuff Stuff, ” for February 1971 said:
“Emery Winn would probably be the last person to entitle himself a “poet.” If asked he would say rather a journalistic jingler, versifier, or rhymer. But the fact remains that Winn has a knack for appealing to all of us with his rhymes. He is uncanny in his choice of subject– it is always just exactly what readers were thinking about. For over 14 years, and in some 4,000 stanzas, Winn delighted readers with his “rhyme in writing,” and many wrote to say ”That’s just what I say.”
Here is one of his rhymes from The Oklahoman for May 23, 1949, as it appeared in the newspaper. It seems appropriate for today.
Now April is the proper time . . . When showers are to fall . . . While May’s supposed to be sublime . . . With flowers, sun and all . . . But something seems to be awry . . . And May has gone to pot . . . We’re threatened with a stormy sky . . . More often than we’re not . . . We do not have a gentle rain . . . When rain comes our due . . . But what we have clogs ev’ry drain . . . And floods the country too . . . And then if rain is not enough . . . To saddle us with woes . . . We have high winds and other stuff . . . And these tornadic blows . . . Keep each of us in mortal fear . . . That we’ll be blown away . . . Or that our homes will disappear . . . And all our livestock stray . . . So let us pin our hopes on June . . . Perhaps it will behave . . . If not I know that very soon . . . My home will be a cave.
– Mary Phillips