Felicitations on this, National Bad Poetry Day. Declaim your least favorite poet – Edward Bulwer-Lytton or lesser Ezra Pound – but remember what Oscar Wilde observed: “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.”

Speaking of poetry, international man of publicity and a million names has gone done it again. Sean Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy and P. Diddy and Sean John and Puffy, decreed by royal proclamation on NBC’s “Today” Tuesday that he will forthwith be known simply as – drumroll, maestro – “Diddy,” setting late-night comics into overdrive.

It also gives intellectuals something to muse about during these, the waning days of summer.

“I felt the “P’ was coming between me and my fans,” the 35-year-old mogul told Katie Couric, expressing what many of us have felt for years.



AGENT OF CHANGE

“One phone call, that’s all it took!” Pierce Brosnan, 52, tells Entertainment Weekly, and he was released from James Bond servitude in her majesty’s secret service. Before they ceased negotiations, the producers had invited him back for a fifth film, the actor says.

Brosnan, who began life as Agent 007 in 1995’s “GoldenEye,” says his severance was a “titanic jolt to the system,” followed by “a great sense of calm. … I can do anything I want to do now. I’m not beholden to them or anyone. I’m not shackled by some contracted image. So there was a sense of liberation.”

The Irishman says, “I never felt I had complete ownership over Bond. Because you’d have these stupid one-liners – which I loathed – and I always felt phony doing them.” English actor Daniel Craig (“Sylvia,” “Layer Cake”), 37, is believed to be the latest Bond after Clive Owen passed on the job, considered a tuxedoed straightjacket for thespians with loftier goals and a distaste for one-liners.



A FEW WIVES TOO MANY?

Elegant ABC anchor Peter Jennings has been dead less than two weeks and already bad behavior has erupted. Manhattan and Hampton salonistes are agog and atwitter that author and Jennings wife No. 3 Kati Marton has been hogging the limelight, musing to People mag and “Final Edition” about the veteran newsman, when, after all, she is his ex of 11 years and “their divorce was one for the books,” the New York Post’s Liz Smith observes. “Many people believe this right, or silence about it, belonged to Peter’s devoted widow, Kayce Freed, who married him in 1997, loved him devotedly, and never left his side during his illness,” Smith notes. “She has made almost no statement at all, kept his funeral strictly private, and keeps her own dignified council.”



BABY WATCH

The second edition of Bennifer, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, wed in June, baby due in November, are thinking pink. At the L.A. premiere of Terry Gilliam’s “The Brothers Grimm,” starring Affleck’s best bud Matt Damon, a friend rubbed the “Alias” star’s belly and asked, “Are you having a boy?” to which Jen responded “Guess again.” The movie co-stars Heath Ledger, whose girlfriend/possible fiancee (a nice ring on her hand) Michelle Williams is pregnant with their baby, due in the fall, gender unknown. Williams starred in “Dawson’s Creek.”

Though wise minds believed pop tart Britney Spears was carrying an infanta, all signs lead to a dauphin, reports MSNBC’s Jeannette Walls. Brit went on an after-hours shopping spree at Beverly Hills’ baby boutique Petit Tresor, unloading $10,000 on all manners of boy stuff. Spears is married to Kevin Federline and a close source says they favor the name Preston.

Internet pinup and occasional tennis player Anna Kournikova has a secret younger brother 23 years her junior, born last September to her mother, Alla, and Alla’s live-in lover, Baron Michael Moog de Medici, the New York Daily News reports. The child, and the baron’s living arrangements, are about to go public in a custody case involving the baron’s’s ex-wife, Martina Moog, and their 6-year-old son, reports the Palm Beach Post.



(Wire services contributed to this report.)



(c) 2005, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Visit Philadelphia Online, the Inquirer’s World Wide Web site, at http://www.philly.com/

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

AP-NY-08-17-05 1703EDT


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