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June 19, 2012 1:42 AM   Subscribe

Professional writers may scoff, / But limericks? Never enough! / Let crummy-dot-com / Fill your needs with aplomb / (The meter's occasionally off)

Another of Leonard Richardson's projects (previously), this one combs a database and assembles limericks one line at a time out of pieces of existing ones. The results are mostly nonsensical, often bawdy, and regularly posted on Twitter.
posted by wanderingmind (79 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Well, please don't think Marty's a jerk.
It's difficult to post from work
And the Law Murphy wrote
Captured most of the vote.
To give my bouquet to the clerk. "
posted by ShawnStruck at 1:55 AM on June 19, 2012


When the metre and rhythm don't fit
I work myself into a fit
Don't they read what they write?
And then see it's not right?
Can they sleep at night publishing shit?
posted by Meatbomb at 2:23 AM on June 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


When lines A and B are the same,
I'm forced to say that they're the same...
posted by Earthtopus at 2:35 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


But you're work is half done
C through E are not done
So your critique is moot all the same!
posted by Meatbomb at 2:45 AM on June 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


What better excuse could there be to repost this from my childhood

There was a young lady from Bude,
Who went for a swim in the lake.
A man in a punt,
Stuck a pole in her ear
And said you can't swim here; it's private.
posted by Jofus at 3:12 AM on June 19, 2012 [17 favorites]


The limerick, it says in my files,
is the only poetical style
(excepting the old
Anglo-Saxon tales told)
that’s native to these British Isles.

The reason they’re never that long
is that they were intended as songs
to be sung with a drink
and a nod and a wink
by a roomful of booze-loosened tongues.

As you might guess from this kind of scene,
the subjects were mostly obscene –
a selection of jokes
told by brash, bawdy folks
with no interest in keeping things clean.

The Victorians tried to address
this obscenity – they wanted less
of the sex and excretion –
but prudish deletions
saw limited kinds of success.

May we never be forced to such stealth
to take pride in our cultural wealth;
so hand over that sonnet
and I’ll shit upon it –
drink, lads, to the limerick’s health!
posted by him at 4:14 AM on June 19, 2012 [19 favorites]


Dear god, it's another of those threads, a "nothing but limericks" retread. I pray for the day we find better ways. Until then I just wish I was dead.
posted by zoo at 4:30 AM on June 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Too many bot authors cry "Dada!"
When really they should have tried harda.
Horse ebooks, at least,
Was a random spam feast,
But this one was planned to mean nada.
posted by rory at 4:32 AM on June 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've posted this on MeFi before, but it belongs in every limerick thread:

The limerick's structure, somewhat
Necessitates eloquent smut.
If you don't have the time
To learn meter and rhyme
Then don't write them, you ignorant slut.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:43 AM on June 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


I came here to check on my song,
And didn't intend to stay long.
Alas, it's 4:20,
With poems aplenty;
Haiku on Haboobs and a bong.
posted by jake at 4:45 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Alas, I'd forgotten to hit
The clearly marked button, "Submit"
My comment went live
At 4:45
My weed joke was tardy as shit)
posted by jake at 4:53 AM on June 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Did someone win Carl Kasell's voice on their answering machine?!?
posted by bpm140 at 5:11 AM on June 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


There once was a man from Verdun.
posted by conifer at 5:14 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I am familiar with this form of verse.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:35 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The post's on a chat-bot, from whence,
You don't get much cogence and hence,
To work from a Dada-base,
Might better match the case;
We should all stop making sense.
posted by Segundus at 5:48 AM on June 19, 2012


LIMERICKS ARE FOR SISSIES SO HERE'S A DOUBLE DACTYL

LIMERICK LIMERICK
USERS OF MEFI, A
VERBALLY PRIVILEGED
BUNCH AT THEIR BEST

CHALLENGED BY POEMS MADE
QUASISTOCHASTICALLY
ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE
NOW GIVE IT A REST
posted by Sokka shot first at 5:52 AM on June 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


My dad is from Limerick.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:58 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


A limerick's meter, they say,
Is not as important these days.
'They're just for a lark!'
'Too picky!' you snark,
But I disagree and think that a form's meter is at least as important as its rhyme scheme anyway.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:59 AM on June 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


There was an old man with a beard
A funny old man with a beard
He had a big beard
A great big old beard
That amusing old man with a beard
posted by hydatius at 6:08 AM on June 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


Buffalo buffalo buffalo
Buffalo buffalo buffalo
Buffalo buffalo
Buffalo buffalo
Buffalo buffalo buffalo
posted by barnacles at 6:11 AM on June 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


A professor of Spanish at Lehigh
Decided one day to join MeFi
He selected "El Jefe"
For his screen name at MeFi
And wrote limericks with ambiguous rhymes
posted by googly at 6:19 AM on June 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


There was a young man
From Peru, whose limericks
Looked like haiku. "I

Cut them in half", he
Said with a laugh, "because I
Get paid more for two!"

--Jim Moskowitz
posted by moonmilk at 6:20 AM on June 19, 2012 [13 favorites]


Ah limericks. How much trouble I let you get me into.
When I was a senior in high school, the last major unit in AP English was on Oedipus Rex and Antigone. As the first part of the unit, we had to read the plays and write summaries. I handed in the following:

The once was a guy named Oed
Who took his mother to bed
He pierced his eyes
Amid painful cries
Of regret, remorse, and dread

Kreon was a clown
Who thought he owned the town
The gods showed him
They murdered his kin
And left him with a frown

The teacher, a stoic woman of steel nerves, looked at the paper and stared at me over the top of her reading glasses. I swear I heard her say, "we are not amused" but her lips had not moved. I tried to impress her with the difficulty of summarizing two entire Greek tragedies in 10 lines of poetry - I had to cut a bit. No luck.
posted by plinth at 6:31 AM on June 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


plinth, that's really quite classic :D I am highly amused.
posted by owlrigh at 6:43 AM on June 19, 2012


"There once was a limerick,
But this isn't it.
This isn't a limerick.
It isn't even a poem."
posted by sixswitch at 6:54 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Carl Kassel is very amused.
posted by moviehawk at 6:55 AM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm confused as to why people like limericks with broken meters. The form is so simple, and, to me, its only pleasures are wit, rhyme and meter. A limerick with bad meter is like an apple with a worm in it. I guess there are still some tasty parts to it, but why bother? Get another apple.

Of course, if someone is deviating from form to achieve an interesting effect, that's one thing. But most of the deviations I see just look like hacks -- like someone couldn't find the time to come up with a synonym with the exact number of syllables needed.

Or it's the same lame joke, over and over, in which the limerick recognizes it's meter is off and mentions it in some kind of tired, post-modern flourish.

He hated all forms la se faire,
So he crafted his limericks with care.
He spent lots of time
Perfecting each rhyme,
Then wrecked the rhythm with a blank verse end.
posted by grumblebee at 7:16 AM on June 19, 2012


There's nothing I hate more than a limerick with a broken meter, except perhaps a haiku (yes I know proper Japanese haiku aren't strictly 5-7-5 but dammit I like 5-7-5).

@twitmericks is solid on meter and this is why I like it.
posted by corvine at 7:22 AM on June 19, 2012


There once was a grumbling bee
whose joie de vivre quotient was: 3.
His rhyming and meter
prioritized neither
and that's why he's precious to me.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:24 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Carl Kassel is very amused.

I can only read limericks in Carl Kassels voice now, after so many years of WWDTM. I think it's a significant improvement.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:27 AM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a scheme of rhythm and rhyme,
the limerick's a favorite of mine.
I liked it so much,
that after one lunch
I proposed using five little lines.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:43 AM on June 19, 2012


Metafilter's Own 168 has also made a limerick machine! Nantucket scans a text file and extracts any accidental limericks that happen to be implicit in its text. Here's a blog post which describes how it works.

(Disclaimer: Danielle and I have hung out to chat about accidental poetry and stuff)
posted by moonmilk at 7:49 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I normally have little to say
In threads where quick wit rules the day
I'll mark my place here
And then disappear
To follow your words in RA*.
posted by Phire at 8:49 AM on June 19, 2012


The bawdy quips we've seen in here
Are pleasing to recite
But common metre's nice to hear
At least for this MeFite.
posted by Talkie Toaster at 9:40 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


haiku is better
no sing-songy rhyming scheme
fewer words, sparse, clean
posted by DigDoug at 10:10 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]




My attempt at silliness, above, should have read:

He hated all forms laissez-faire,
So he crafted his limericks with great care.
He spent lots of time
Perfecting each rhyme,
Then wrecked the rhythm with a blank verse end.


posted by grumblebee at 10:35 AM on June 19, 2012


Wish I could locate the limerick recited by Elliot Gould at the close of "Getting Straight." During his orals, he leaps onto a conference table and pronounces the limerick as the highest literary form.
posted by sixpack at 11:27 AM on June 19, 2012


When I was in high school, my French teacher delighted me no end in class one day by coming up with a limerick on the spot (unless he gamed us with a pre-composed one, but I doubt it). I was so impressed, in fact, that I memorized it and can still produce it at will:

The venerable old Mr. Toad
Took an evening stroll down the road
But old Toad was dispatched
When his pathway was matched
By a truck with a 20-ton load

(it also provided a 10-minute distraction from school work, so...win/win!)
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:37 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


A very short history of Western (male) poetry

1

I sing of the rage of Achilles
Who gave all the Trojans the willies
And when Hector slew Pat
A-Dawg's dummy got spat.
What a heel. And those Gods are all sillies.

2

At Poseidon, Odysseus moans.
And to Circe: "Witch, let me alone!
Why, I'd put out an eye
To see Ithica's skies!
Should call Penny, but don't have a phone."

3

So Aeneas bade farewell to Troy
Thought, "I needs a new crib for my boyz"
Tried Carthage, quite seedy,
But Dido's too needy.
Now Latin love's giving him joy.

4

Dante's walk wasn't going too well.
Out with Virgil, and man, it was hell.
Bumped into old friends
Who'd all had tragic ends
Is this comedy? I sure can't tell.

5

T.S. thought that the war was a waste.
Made a poem to everyone's taste
People said, "Wow. It's cool!
They should learn this in school -
Teach the kids how to cut and to paste".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:15 PM on June 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


My father has a copy of that huge old tome of dirty limericks (this one).

It was declared off-limits to us kids, so of course, I read huge chunks of it when no parents were home. There is imagery in there that, when encountered at an impressionable age by a naive youth such as I was, no amount of brain bleach can ever completely erase.

And yet, I have stored in my head an arsenal of relatively-tame-but-still-naughty limericks that I keep dusted off for the right occasion.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:18 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


6

There's the Tales, whose in-story authors,
formed a pack of traveling tossers.
"If there's something you're missing
Check twice what you're kissing"—
That's all I e'er got out of Chaucer.
posted by fleacircus at 6:02 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


More from the treasury of world classics

7

Who can help out at Herr Hroðgar's hall?
Bell for Beowulf, best of them all!
"Go get Grendel, my son!
Oh, then murder his mum."
Funny family. And so fucking tall.

8

Five Indian brothers loved life,
But their cousins caused infinite strife.
They proved themselves smarter
In the Mahabarata.
Oh, and also, they shared the same wife.

9

After rescuing Frodo with Sting
Sam-wise said, "Mr. B, here's the thing:
Walking to Sauron's tower
Takes more than an hour
- Can't we just give him a ring?"

10

In Xanadu, Kubla Khan said,
"Build a pleasure-dome, boys!" Through it led
Sacred Alph, to the waves,
Through some measureless caves ...
-- Man, this dope's really fucked with my head.

11

Leaving Paradise was quite a loss:
First Satan was mad with the Boss,
Then man broke a decree
When he picked the wrong tree.
I guess that's why God got so cross.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:39 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


12

The Bard wooed a lass named Roberta,
Promising, "Love, I never shall hurt ya".
Then to her surprise
Came "My Mistress's Eyes..."
So she left him that evening for Goethe.
posted by fleacircus at 4:55 AM on June 20, 2012


13

A Spanish gent once had the gall
To take up his lance and to brawl
With a windmill! This clown's
From La Mancha - the town
Has a name I don't wish to recall.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:12 AM on June 20, 2012


14

Gilgamesh, when battling sleep,
Confessed something quite candidly,
"I don't mind telling you
That I miss Enkidu,
But I'm more glad the gods' wrath missed me."
posted by fleacircus at 5:22 AM on June 20, 2012


15

The Bible's a funny ol' story:
Some parts peaceful - some parts are quite gory.
I forget how it ends ...
I think God picks some friends?
I hope we're in his in-ven-tory.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:30 AM on June 20, 2012


16

Hey Bill, I thought we were chums?
It's not that I don't like your poems,
I'm just quite astounded
There's no way around it
You owe me for those fucking plums.
posted by fleacircus at 5:49 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


17

Call me Ishmael (or send me some mail)
And I'll tell how the Pequod set sail!
There'll be many digressions
- It may take several sessions -
But, in summary: killed a big whale.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:57 AM on June 20, 2012


18

A Poet Laureate once sought some clarity,
In thoughts too elusive, apparently,
He got a bit horny,
And ended forlornly
blackberry blackberry blackberry.
posted by fleacircus at 6:29 AM on June 20, 2012


You people are awesome. Please keep doing this for the entire month this thread is open for commenting. Thanks in advance.
posted by hippybear at 6:33 AM on June 20, 2012


19

Went out driving last week. We got stuck far
From home, so we stopped at a truck bar
Said: "Truckers - don't irk us -
But is this Orbis Tertius?
We're trying to get back to Uqbar".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:42 AM on June 20, 2012


20

I used to know Ezra's dad, Ed,
He wrote the coolest poem I ever read
(I need to explain
We were talkin' bout trains)
It went: "Dude, it's like a tree." 'Nuff said.
posted by fleacircus at 6:45 AM on June 20, 2012


21

I, Robot, have only three laws:
Help all humans (without their applause);
Do what they say,
Every hour, each day;
And don't kill 'em (without a good cause).
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:48 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


My brother & I sometimes spend days conversing via email in nothing but limericks. We were inspired by Edward Gorey.

Most people who attempt to write limericks shouldn't.
posted by Infinity_8 at 9:50 AM on June 20, 2012


Infinity_8: Most people who attempt to write limericks shouldn't.

Most folks who attempt to write limericks
Fill them with gewgaws and gimmicks;
Or they mess up the rhyme,
Or the meter or time,
And in sundry ways make me cry "Fiddlesticks!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:32 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


My bro and I sometimes trade tricks
Via email, all in lim-er-icks
Inspired were we
By Edward Gor-ey
Most people who attempt to write limericks shouldn't, they're dicks.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Great Cthulhu sleeps deep in the sea
Gelatinous and tentacled, he
Dreams of the night
When Stars are just Right
and how tasty we will all be.
posted by Gygesringtone at 5:51 PM on June 20, 2012


Have you ever read "Infinite Jest"?
- everyone says it's the best!
I've not finished myself,
It sits there on the shelf ...
I just find it quite hard to digest.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:14 AM on June 21, 2012


Hey Marlow, can you go kill Kurtz?
His horror outdoes a pervert's.
He lives in the Congo
His lifestyle's quite wrong. Go,
Deliver him his just desserts.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:47 AM on June 21, 2012


Esty and Vlad are quite odd; though
They form a hilarious squad. Oh -
There's Pozzo and Lucky!
One's blind and one's mucky.
Here's hoping we'll get to meet Godot.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:00 AM on June 21, 2012




Naked Lunch, and an alien smell.
Help! My typewriter's leaking weird gel!
Now I think I'm a spy -
And I like to do guys!
(Said to wifey: let's William Tell.)
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:42 AM on June 21, 2012


"It's a truth," wrote Jane, "no-one can chide:
Every single rich man needs a bride."
But with time (it's not strange),
Pride and prejudice change -
Now gay marriage rights can't be denied.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:50 AM on June 21, 2012


On Solaris, and having a blast.
Holy shit! It's a ghost from my past!
"Should I kill you off, ex?"
"No, I'd rather have sex
With George Clooney. I hope he gets cast."
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:54 AM on June 21, 2012


When Pi and a tiger were sat
In a life-boat, "Dear Pi," said the cat,
"I might be a metaphor -
Probably better for
You not to think about that."
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:01 AM on June 21, 2012


Dearest Christ - I wish I was dead!
I've got limericks stuck in my head.
It's a mental disease
Jesus, cure me, please!
Thank God no-one is reading this thread.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:07 AM on June 21, 2012


Hi, I'm no-one. Don't mind me.

Carry on.
posted by hippybear at 8:18 AM on June 21, 2012


Dear Oedipa, if you have time,
Could you buy me a stamp? But, take thine
Purse - they're expensive!
The price in new pence is
(Said while crying) a lot! - forty-nine.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:20 AM on June 21, 2012


On the Orient Ex., late at night,
A murder! Some clues come to light.
"Who dun it, Poirot?"
"Well actually, bro,
Accuse anyone, and you'll be right".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:22 AM on June 21, 2012


Said Heathcliff to Cate: "Don't get weepy,
But Edgar's a bore - makes me sleepy.
I'd rather you'd die
Than marry that guy,
Then come haunt me. Wait - is that too creepy?"
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:25 AM on June 21, 2012


Poor Deckard he tried very hard to buy
A real sheep not a robotic lie
It turned out that people
where nothing but kipple
and Mercer never even had to try.
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:44 AM on June 21, 2012


The Man in the High Castle swore
That the U.S., in fact, won the war!
It's the craziest thing
That he says (thru I-Ching) -
I was certain we played for a draw.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:59 AM on June 21, 2012


The story begins as the clock struck thirteen
and many a pic of Big Brother was seen.
He was a watching
while Winston was botching
his one shot at playing the libertine.
posted by Gygesringtone at 10:10 AM on June 21, 2012


For kissing his cousin there would be no pardon
So Candide was left without a home to fart in.
He got hurt everywhere,
and nobody did care,
So now he just tends to his garden.
posted by Gygesringtone at 10:13 AM on June 21, 2012


Glen's dead wife in a box (somewhat cubic),
Halfway to a heaven cherubic
And halfway to hell!
Good thing she can't tell -
As long as he's spraying on Ubik.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:22 AM on June 21, 2012


Gregor Samsa awoke with a shrug
Said, "I'm not leaving bed - it's so snug!
- and everyone hates me
They always berate me
What am I - some kind of bug?"
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:45 AM on June 21, 2012


A century passed in that muggy old town
There was always a Buendía hanging around
The banana crop failed
the white folk all bailed
and the ants ate the baby left on the ground.
posted by Gygesringtone at 5:13 PM on June 21, 2012


Briony Tallis was blunt:
"Robbie and Cee bore the brunt
Of my youthful folly.
But I find it jolly
To claim they survived my affront."

("Bree-on-ee," right?)
posted by Infinity_8 at 5:44 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


PS I didn't say c*n9504666 NO CARRIER
posted by Infinity_8 at 11:50 AM on June 22, 2012


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