I wanted to write a haiku,
About life and love and you;
But haiku are intense,
And don’t always make sense;
So I wrote this instead, will it do?
Haiku are all very well, but what about the humble limerick? In the hands of an expert, haiku can be hauntingly lovely, but they tend to be so gloomy. And earnest. Which I suppose is a bit rich from somebody who last week posted a very gloomy and earnest poem. So, to celebrate the last day of NaPoWriMo, let’s have a bit of fun.
Limericks are such an easy form a child can write them, and because of this are often dismissed as doggerel, but they can also be very clever. What about:
There was a young lady named Bright
who travelled much faster than light.
She set out one day
in a relative way,
and came back the previous night.
And then there’s:
There was a young lady of Niger
who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
They returned from the ride
with the lady inside,
and the smile on the face of the tiger.
(attributed to Edward Lear and William Cosmo Monkhouse).
Then of course, there are the smutty ones (close your eyes now):
There was a young man from Savannah
Who died in a curious manner:
He whittled a hole
In a telephone pole
And electrified his banana.
As Titian was mixing rose madder,
His model posed nude up a ladder,
So he nipped up the ladder and had her.
Edward Lear is the man who is most associated with the limerick, according to The Best Limericks of All Time A Brief History of the Limerick compiled and edited by Michael R. Burch. But he didn’t invent the form, he just found it in some old books. In fact even Shakespeare wrote limericks (as drinking songs in The Tempest, and Othello).
American author Ogden Nash was pretty nifty with a limerick:
A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, “let us flee!”
“Let us fly!” said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.