From now until March 31, the Boca Raton-based medical group Digestive Care is accepting entries into the first-ever Bottom Line Poetry Contest, which asks entrants to pen an original piece of verse about colonoscopies. The purpose, according to Digestive Care's Dr. Ken Rosenthal, is to raise awareness about the importance of screening for colon cancer, especially in men over 50. The prize is $500 or a free colonoscopy, "neither of which," according to the instructions, "is transferable to another person."
What type of poem is Dr. Rosenthal probing for, you ask? Well, he says it can't be "X-rated" because they want to publish the winner, and he likes limericks. He's also a fan of Walt Whitman ("O Colon! My Colon!") and Ogden Nash ("A bit of colon / is always swollen").
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And if he could perform a colonoscopy on one poet living or dead, who would it be?
"Well, I wouldn't want to perform one on [Henry] Longfellow," he says. "I get paid the same, and it would be tedious."