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Usain Bolt Stole My Cell Phone (Allegedly) - A Sonnet of Less Than Shakespearean Proportions

Updated on August 17, 2016
Can you please give me back my cell phone, Mr. Bolt?
Can you please give me back my cell phone, Mr. Bolt? | Source

A Word of Disclaimer

In the glory days of Bubblews I used to dabble in poetry a bit, but this is the first time I have decided to tentatively try my trembling hand at the lyrical art form on Hub Pages.

This idea to write a sonnet was inspired by our mutual friend John Hansen, otherwise known as Jodah, that man from the land down under who you better take cover from when he gets his poet's pen cranking in high gear. He recently published a sonnet here, and this prompted me to try my hand at it.

Although I am not a stranger to poetry, I am a stranger to following its strange, boring, complicated rules. From what I have investigated about the sonnet and the iambic pentameter style that is used to populate its verses, there are strict guidelines to this form. A sonnet should have 14 lines in four quatrains, with each line composed of ten syllables. I have tried to capture the iambic pentameter rhythm here, but if my rhymes don't bounce like they should please be patient and go easy, because I am a virgin.

William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets in his lifetime, but this is my first one.

I wrote this poem as an exercise in time-killing frivolity while sitting in the doctor's waiting room with my wife. I wanted to bounce it off her first but she wasn't game, so I am using you as my poetry guinea pig. When your own wife prefers reading pharmaceutical pamphlets to hearing your verses, try something else.

The theme for this poem was inspired by Usain Bolt, the amazing Jamaican sprinter. As a disclaimer, I will state right here in the beginning that I do not believe Mr. Bolt really is a cell phone thief. I am not accusing him of any sort of criminal behavior whatsoever. Olympic announcer Bob Costas says Usain will not even exceed the speed limit in his automobile. This idea simply occurred to me in a light bulb flash when I watched him win 100 meter gold again night before last. After his victory he was mingling among his adoring fans, taking phone selfies with them. Some people interpret this behavior as arrogant, but I do not. I believe that Mr. Bolt is exceptional at what he does and he is a happy man who likes to have fun. He does not put himself upon an unreachable pedestal, but likes to get out there among the people and mix it up.

But what would happen if Usain Bolt accidentally went home with one of his fan's cell phones? What would the consequences be, indeed, if in the excitement of Olympic victory he inadvertently went back to the locker room with dozens of cell phones that did not belong to him, wrapped up inside that giant Jamaican flag he carries around? I'm not saying it would ever happen, I'm just saying it is an entertaining exercise in abstract thought.

Here then, is my first official sonnet. I hope it meets the guidelines. Only 153 more to catch Shakespeare.

The Bolt strikes the pose!

Usain Bolt points to his secret (alleged) cell phone stash in the sky.
Usain Bolt points to his secret (alleged) cell phone stash in the sky. | Source

Usain Bolt Stole My Cell Phone (Allegedly)

Five-ring flags fly o'er Earth's delegations

Redeemer's arms spread wide on distant heights

Frowning judge calls runners to their stations

Sprinters leap at the gun in headlong flight


A bolt surges past his defeated foes

Drapes island banner yellow, black and green

With phone in hand he strikes his selfie pose

Then jogs down track to greet the fans yet seen


Lightened pocket begs for my inspection

Loving spouse turns 'round to hear cries unleashed

She swoons from news of my phone's defection

Report this outrage to Rio police!


Denounce the crime for which he must atone

For Usain Bolt just jacked your new cell phone!

Would you trust Usain Bolt with your cell phone?

See results

Three Straight!

Contrary to popular reports, Usain Bolt does not run in iambic pentameter
Contrary to popular reports, Usain Bolt does not run in iambic pentameter | Source

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 7 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Congratulations on your first successful sonnet, Mel. I loved it and the subject. When Usain Bolt visited Australia a couple of years back he went on a couple of our TV sports shows and was interviewed..he also participated in a mock Olympics where he had to try weird sports like cricket etc...he is a good sport and fun loving guy, not conceited at all. I don't think he would deliberately steal a phone either ...though mine has a smashed screen that I have never bothered to fix yet, so it wouldn't really matter. p.s. thanks for the mention

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Jodah for getting me interested in sonnets. Mr. Bolt does seem like a down to earth guy. He could keep my cell phone if he wanted to, which I doubt.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 7 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      This is a funny, entertaining sonnet. I appreciate your wonderful crafting of this sonnet. Now you can Bolt ahead with streams of sonnets to beat Shakespeare. Lol!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, you get congratulations from me for even trying it, but then to do it well....sheez, you've left me in the dust, my friend....choking in the dust. I will continue on today feeling very inferior, thanks to you. :)

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Venkatachari, I could not beat Shakespeare, or any other runners in the field, even if I dove for the finish line like that lady from the Bahamas did. Thanks for your wonderful words.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Bill I'm sure you could lay down a verse or two if you wanted. In fact, you have. I seem to recall that your Tobias book had some pretty damn good free flowing stuff. Thanks for the nice words, my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 7 months ago

      Mel, I loved your Sonnet

      And I do not think that I am alone

      And if I went to Rio

      I would buy a gangster phone

      Because I'm sure Usain would not atone

      He would want his selfie for his own

      And I do not think he will return you phone

      I love poetry and yours is really neat

      And I don't care about the iambic feet

      I know what I like and your sonnet can't be beat

      Blessings my friend

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Shyron,

      I can visualize Usain Bolt's bedroom, wall to wall with hundreds of "confiscated" cell phones staring back at him, all of those tiny glowing screens filled with his own smiling selfie.

      I love your poetic response. I appreciate you taking the time to write it, or does the poetry just flow out of you naturally like that? Perhaps you think in poetry. If you do, that is a beautiful thing.

      At the present, I am soaking my own iambic feet, because they are aching a little after my poetic efforts of yesterday.

      Blessings back at you.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 7 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      I think your trembling hand did a marvelous job in this Sonnet challenge. Mel, it appears that you are a man of man talents. I still feel that you have missed your calling as a comedian, you are definitely one of the funniest men iv'e ever/never met. God bless

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Dana that is very gracious of you. I wish my children thought the same, when I tell my jokes here they roll their eyes and look at me like I'm diseased. I appreciate you dropping in!

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 7 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Keep this up, Mel, and I'll lead the way in comparing you to Ogden Nash, not William Shakespeare. That's not a bad thing, either.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Was Ogden Nash the silver medalist in sonnets, Mills? I'll take that. Thanks for dropping in!

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 7 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      I'm not sure that Nash wrote any sonnets, Mel, but he certainly had a flair for humorous poetry. He was an early literary influence of mine. Shakespeare's sonnets are fine, too.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      I had heard of Mr. Nash, Mills, buy I just read the Wikipedia article to brush up. Sounds like he was more my style than Shakespeare. Thanks again.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 7 months ago

      Mel, when you are drying your iambic feet

      Put a pen between your toes and pen us something neat

      My Hubby says all the time I think in poetic rhyme

      And he does not like it when something he says

      Invokes a rhyming line that is cutting into his time

      Blessings

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Shyron,

      Iambic feet are a little soggy

      Poem wearied brain is just slightly foggy

      Most men endure menopausal curses

      Hubby should cherish your tender verses

      Thanks again, my friend

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 7 months ago

      Mel, I think you’ve got the rhythm

      And I think for you poetry is a given

      For sure it will not help you make a living

      But, for me I do appreciate the energy and time it takes

      To put together a poem with that rates

      You are welcome

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      Glenis Rix 7 months ago from UK

      Lol! But don't give up the day job yet :)

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      I won't, Glenis. Thanks for reading.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are the greatest! What fun. Loved your article on the Steinbeck character also.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      Steinbeck and Bolt employ a similar swagger to get their ideas across, Eric. But I don't think The Grapes of Wrath guy ever borrowed a cell phone to snap a selfie, though it is possible he might have had the technology existed at the time. Thanks for checking in. Hoping a little onshore flow comes your way.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 6 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was amusing and all in good fun. I think we all approve.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 6 months ago from San Diego California

      Well Deb, it got past the censors so somebody must have approved, somewhere. I appreciate you dropping in and partaking of my little flight of fancy here.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 6 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read. Getting caught up. Sorry for long time no see. Been doing the professor thing. Between you and me, I far prefer reading your articles to comp students, lol.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 6 months ago from San Diego California

      I don't know whether to send you congratulations or a sympathy card. Alas, we aspiring writers have to work so we can buy booze to kill the pain that goes with being an aspiring writer. I was wondering where you were but I figured it had to be something important. Thanks for dropping in!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Mel

      Great little sonnet. I'll be careful with my phone though.

      Lawrence

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 6 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Lawrence. There's a price for celebrity selfies.

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 5 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Fantastic.

      I love the shout-out to the Christ the Redeemer statue ... and the calling of the Rio police. Clearly this was written in a flash of inspiration, after a visit of the Muse.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 5 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Jennifer. I have since considered that sonnets don't lend themselves to humor, but I tried. I should have written a bawdy limerick instead. Thanks for reading!

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