I love and admire poetry, but have never been able to write a really good poem. I’ve tried many times. I’ve even been published in school magazines! But I attribute those few pathetic publications to either a dearth of better material or the fact that I was editor! The one simple poetic form that my mind fully embraces is – the limerick. So this page is a paean to the limerick. No person exists no matter how tin his ear, who cannot write a limerick!
In grade school I wrote:
Mrs. Astorbilt once had a poodle,
She fed him on apple strudel.
He became temperamental;
Wouldn’t eat beans or lentils,
So they shot him right through the noodle!
I offer here a few of my favorite limericks; except for Edward Lear in the 19th Century, limericks are usually attributed to that nervous, shy Latin poet, Anonymous.
There was a young woman named Rose,
Who had a large wart on her nose.
When she had it removed;
Her appearance improved,
But her glasses slipped down to her toes.
A maiden at college – Miss Breeze
Weighed down by B.A.’s and Lit. D’s
Collapsed from the strain
Said the doctor, “It’s plain –
You are killing yourself by degrees!”
There once was a sculptor named Phidias
Whose sculptures by most were thought hideous
He carved Aphrodite
Without any nightie
Which shocked all the fussy fastidious!
A canner exceedingly canny,
One day remarked to his granny:
“A canner can can
Anything that he can,
But he can’t can a can, can he?”
A mouse in her room woke Miss Dowd
She was frightened it must be allowed.
Soon a happy thought hit her
To scare off the critter;
She sat up in bed and meowed!
A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot
Said the two to the tutor,
“Is it harder to toot – or
To tutor two tooters to toot?”
A professor named KLASS, SOLOMON SHEILA
Sought great verse, that would to students appeal-a
She poured as she pored;
Growing increasingly bored,
And passed out from excessive tequila!