There once was a girl named Lenore
July 23, 2007 5:21 AM   Subscribe

Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks, as brought to us by our very own Lore Sjöberg. English majors, begin your griping now.
posted by SansPoint (301 comments total) 239 users marked this as a favorite

 
A brilliant idea, but the meter is so poor it is almost ruined.
posted by DU at 5:31 AM on July 23, 2007


More like "English majors, start your applause."
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:33 AM on July 23, 2007


Eep. You're not kidding, Du.

Note that some of these limericks are not just rewritten, but rather that the story of their composition is told.
posted by honest knave at 5:34 AM on July 23, 2007


Oh, the metre really is duff. Anyhow, I am taking this as an invitation to attempt something equally as bad:

Dover Beach

One night on a walk by the shore,
Arnold heard something odd in the roar.
This set him to bleating
That Faith was retreating,
And that nothing was nice any more.
posted by Abiezer at 5:46 AM on July 23, 2007 [9 favorites]


Neat. Wish there was more. Anyone want to try one for "Dulce et Decorum Est"?
posted by Jimbob at 5:47 AM on July 23, 2007


The Wasteland Limericks - Wendy Cope
posted by crocomancer at 5:56 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Dulce et Decorum Est

The death of a comrade from gas,
Led young Owen to cry out, "Alas,
this is nasty and gory,
there's nothing of glory,
and Horace talked out of his ass."
posted by Abiezer at 6:03 AM on July 23, 2007 [102 favorites]


I'll give it a go Jimbob, but I think my sentences are too long.

For a poet called Wilf the scene could have been bespoke.
An over tired soldier dying choke by choke
If you could see his nasty death, out there in the mud
It probably wouldn't do your dreams any kind of good,
and might make glorious nationalism something of a joke.
posted by biffa at 6:03 AM on July 23, 2007


Pah! The man brings a couplet like "There was an old father of Dylan/Who was seriously, mortally illin'" and all you do is complain about the meter? Have you no sense of gratitude?
posted by flashboy at 6:03 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


There were some young men in the mud,
All around were artillery thuds.
One of them died,
They tossed him aside,
And thought man, this war is a dud
posted by TedW at 6:12 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eh, more of a Stevens man, myself.

The muscular one liked to whip
The wenches while dawdling let slip
With sheet so embroidered
Unseemly reconnoitred
The empress of ice-cream let rip.
posted by dreamsign at 6:13 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


Dulce et decorum's the story,
So they say viz pro patria mori.
But the gas and the fumbling
And the froth and the stumbling
Rather robs a young man of his glory.


C+. Needs work.
posted by Jofus at 6:15 AM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


Reminds me of the time I pissed off my high school English teacher by choosing to write a summaries of Oedipus Rex ad Antigone in limerick form. She was unimpressed at the effort it took to accurately represent an entire Greek tragedy in 5 lines.
posted by plinth at 6:17 AM on July 23, 2007


"Poor Mariner, ruined and wrecked
Are you wiser for taking your trek?"
"Yes, I learned not to cross
Any old albatross
That happens to poop on my deck."
posted by Wolfdog at 6:25 AM on July 23, 2007 [55 favorites]


I liked 'em. Good stuff, Lore.

There once was an Italian Poet/
who journeyed through hell and then wrote it/
His trip was led by Virgil/
and was quite dreary to tell/
And has ever been the bane of Crit. Lit.

posted by boo_radley at 6:26 AM on July 23, 2007


Less of a rewrite, more of a response...

Having popped to fridge for a bite
I announce that I intend to fight
Any poet who bums
Another man's plums.
Forgive? Will I bollocks, you shite.
posted by flashboy at 6:34 AM on July 23, 2007 [15 favorites]


Heard a mighty old patriot opine
'Martyr for the country, it's so fine!'
The son's burned and retching
Banshee screams, quite fetching
Nobly dying, forgotten next time.
posted by Firas at 6:37 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Abiezer ftw.
posted by Firas at 6:38 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

There will be time for a middle-aged twit,
Some yellow fog & an existentialist fit.
This is all a facade,
I am pinned to a fraud,
And those mermaids, they don't give a shit.
posted by creasy boy at 6:39 AM on July 23, 2007 [15 favorites]


This note on the fridge is to say
That those ripe plums that you put away
Well, I ate them last night
They tasted all right
Plus I slept with your sister. M'kay?
posted by unSane at 6:41 AM on July 23, 2007 [58 favorites]


PS I would buy this book in an instant.
posted by unSane at 6:43 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


There was a warrior by the name of 'Wulf
Who fought a monster, nail and tooth
He kept the thing's arm
But when a dragon did him harm
He was burned up in a fiery poof
posted by SansPoint at 6:45 AM on July 23, 2007


Turned on its head it's a parlor game (Add it to the list). Read the limerick, name the poem. Thanks for a great early morning laugh (especially I Wandered Lonely as as Cloud. I spit my coffee all over the keyboard.)
posted by nax at 6:45 AM on July 23, 2007


They charged without pause for discussion
To the tune of the cannons' percussion
And the score, as you know,
Was six hundred or so
Summarily slaughtered by Russians
posted by Wolfdog at 6:48 AM on July 23, 2007 [13 favorites]


I thought Robert Service's poems were limericks.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:48 AM on July 23, 2007


I came to a fork in the wood
Two paths there, one crappy, one good
I chose the baddun
I wish that I haddun
Cos now I am stuck in the mud
posted by unSane at 6:54 AM on July 23, 2007 [9 favorites]


In lieu of original thoughts
Of affection I feel I ought
To compare your good qualities
Tith girlish frivolities
Like roses or sugar, whatnot.
posted by phong3d at 6:57 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


D'oh... fourth line should be "With". Oh well.
posted by phong3d at 6:58 AM on July 23, 2007


A singer asks you how it feels
To be scrounging for your next meal
That's not the right tack
To get you in the sack
So just take everything you can steal
posted by Kattullus at 7:04 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


To the works of the heavenly choir
No mere mortal could ever aspire.
There's just one thing, dear Lord,
That I fear you've ignored:
I think that my tiger's on fire.
posted by flashboy at 7:06 AM on July 23, 2007 [43 favorites]


Anarchy has been released
The good ones are worse than the least
The bird's hearing stinks
And then there's a sphinx
Congrats on your new baby beast!
posted by Rock Steady at 7:11 AM on July 23, 2007 [13 favorites]


You're hot like a long day in Summer.
Which won't last - yeah, I know, what a bummer.
But fear not the time!
For I've made this rhyme.
Now, what's me chances of getting a hummer?
posted by Abiezer at 7:23 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Nevermore nevermore nevermore
Nevermore nevermore nevermore
Nevermore nevermore
Nevermore nevermore
Nevermore nevermore nevermore

Oh. Er. Damn.
posted by hangashore at 7:34 AM on July 23, 2007 [26 favorites]


Father, there on your sad height
Don't go gentle into that night--
Though whether to rage
may depend on your age,
certainly you've earned the right.
posted by hermitosis at 7:34 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


In Xanadu, there was this guy
Built a pleasure dome for which to die
It had rivers to Hades
and mad singing ladies
and then - oh man, I am so high
posted by bibliowench at 7:51 AM on July 23, 2007 [110 favorites]


Should we also invert this, and write a sonnet about a man from Nantucket?
posted by stevis23 at 7:53 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Was six hundred or so
Summarily slaughtered by Russians


Hate to be picky, but casualties amongst the light brigade were at about 55%.
posted by biffa at 7:56 AM on July 23, 2007


I set out on the road in a hurry
For I had the desire for some curry
But along came this dude,
"Name's Death," his lips spewed,
"I've stopped, since you're in a flurry."


There once was a poet named Jarell
Who wrote of a man in great peril
There's lots of jobs funner
Than the ball-turret gunner
Whose death came out of a barrel.
posted by Foosnark at 7:58 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


In Xanadu, Kubla Khan's law
Caused a Pleasure Dome's towers to soar
Its lintels and newels
Were covered with jewels
And -- SHIT, there's someone at the door.
posted by unSane at 8:03 AM on July 23, 2007 [13 favorites]


Listen, baby, I'd go by the book
I'd give you some chat by the brook
Admire your bits
And flatter your tits
But time's short and I'm hard. So let's fuck.

With many apologies to Andrew Marvell.
posted by unSane at 8:12 AM on July 23, 2007 [14 favorites]


Thank the great Khan that I had only started thinking about my own "And -- oops, let me just get the door." version of that poem when I read unSane's.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:12 AM on July 23, 2007


I've seen worse, much worse meter & rhyme in so-called "limericks." Lore obviously knows, at least, what a limerick is, which is more than I can say for many who attempt them online.

Anywhoo:

At brillig, a guy went galumphing
The Jabberwock's head to be hunting.
He carried the day
With "calloo" and "callay"
As reward for the fell beast's neck-blunting.
posted by bovious at 8:17 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


A father once spoke to his child,
of being neither too tame nor too wild,
and keeping your head
when others have fled
and becoming a Man. Then he smiled.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:20 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


A troupe of transsexual warlocks,
A eunuch, a clown, and some morlocks:
These folks, to a man
Were not in Kubla Khan
And the fault is entirely Porlock's

Sorry.

posted by flashboy at 8:20 AM on July 23, 2007 [14 favorites]


The thing with feathers is hope
His song always helps me to cope
He sings it the best
When things are a best
But I still sit here in my room and mope.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ack! "When things are a mess" fourth line
posted by Rock Steady at 8:24 AM on July 23, 2007


Out of the blackness of night
I thank the gods for my might
I haven't cried aloud,
I am bloody but unbowed
'cause *I'm* the boss of me, alright?


(this is fun)
posted by bashos_frog at 8:24 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


And I would buy the book in a second, too.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2007


Sweet fancy Moses, you've unleashed the beast with your post. Have mercy on our souls...
posted by blue_beetle at 8:26 AM on July 23, 2007


Hey, neat, front page.

Let's see, meter, meter. I guess the second and third leading ands in "The Raven" are a bit klunky. And apparently I was pronouncing "seriously" as "SEER-yus-lee" in my head. Anything else I'm missing?
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 8:27 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Said a tourist from Egypt's old land,
"A statue lies wrecked in the sand.
That king of kings, Oz,
Is forgotten because
Things didn't turn out as he'd planned."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:29 AM on July 23, 2007 [23 favorites]


Don't sweat it, Lore. Just google "limericks" and see what other folks have wrought when they thought they were wroughting limericks.
posted by bovious at 8:29 AM on July 23, 2007


There once was a man who was doubting
Who saw a great bird fly about him.
The bird caught on fire,
And then it expired,
And then bled all over the mountain.

(The Windhover, Hopkins)
posted by taliaferro at 8:36 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


When I was too busy to die,
I hitchhiked a ride with some guy.
He drove me through life
Like I was his wife
And time passed in the blink of an eye.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:38 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Assyrians, running amok
Wore purple and gold as they struck
But the Angel of Death
Gave a soul-chilling breath;
Sennacherib was totally fucked
posted by Wolfdog at 8:42 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


The month they call April is cruel
It makes you an impotent fool,
And bums out a poet
Who goes on to blow it
By thinking allusions are cool.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:43 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


You don't do, you don't do, you don't do
Ted's found someone else he can screw
I feel like a Jew
On a Dachau choo-choo
Got it, Daddy? I'm looking at you.
posted by unSane at 8:47 AM on July 23, 2007 [28 favorites]


There once was a young man named Reed
whom the Army attempted to lead,
but the parts of a rifle
were merely a trifle
when compared to the birds and the bees.
posted by steef at 8:48 AM on July 23, 2007


The west wind autumnally blows
It brings the dead year to a close
Its help I am needin'
So I can stop bleedin'
And spring will come soon, I suppose
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:50 AM on July 23, 2007


Well this sure beats the whole "birthing live rabbits" thing... ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:52 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Road Not Taken

There once was a fork in the wood,
And long in decision I stood.
Both wanted wear,
And both were quite fair,
Yet take the less traveled I would.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 8:52 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


I watched as the fort failed to fall
With its flag flowing freely and tall
And it always reminded
We're real symbol-minded.
America rules! Now, play ball!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:52 AM on July 23, 2007 [31 favorites]


One day in the Metro in France
I fell into some kind of trance
I thought people's noses
Were pansies and roses
Or that's how they looked at first glance.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:54 AM on July 23, 2007 [16 favorites]


This jar is the best Greeks could make
For showing mad hotties mid-shake
And true, that's pretty cool
But doesn't prove a rule
Or we'd claim the same for Cobrasnake.
posted by Haruspex at 8:56 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Today we have naming of parts
And the fellow next to me, he farts.
What the fuck is this pin?
Who am I? Gunga Din?
It's not fair! I'm a Master of Arts!
posted by unSane at 8:57 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


Darn, someone else got there!
posted by unSane at 8:58 AM on July 23, 2007


So much depends on a barrow
It's red like a bitchin camaro
It's drippin with water
This poem is slaughtered
Oh crap!-chickens!, as white as bone marrow
posted by Esoquo at 8:59 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


I come to deep-six brother Caesar
Not praise the ambitious old geezer
His good's good as gone
Yet his evil lives on
('Cause we stashed his dead bones in the freezer)
posted by Wolfdog at 9:02 AM on July 23, 2007 [11 favorites]


My kids just said "You're so silly, Dad,"
Which sad to say made me really mad.
I've rhymed Homer's Odyssey
With lossy and Goddess-y,
But I can't find a rhyme for his Iliad.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:03 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


We're mustring' that lance ounce of grit
On our boat which survived every hit.
Now the coastline's appearing!
A crowd's there- it's cheering!
O Captain, we're home!... Oh. Well, shit.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:06 AM on July 23, 2007 [25 favorites]


c. marlowe says:
cum lih' wit me en be me' luv
an' we wil sum noo plejures pruv
all fuckin in streams
fields an' mountains en trees
while me prog makes ye think i'm all smuv

walter releigh replied:
if i was a nit of 14
i might wanna hump in a stream
but you're just an old goat
who wants in pettycoats
and my knickers you ain't gon' be see'ng

and then john donne was all:
ah screw all this mess, let's go fishing
i'll stretch metaphors with your permission
you're the hook and the bait
i'm a fish who can't wait
to get caught up in any position
posted by es_de_bah at 9:08 AM on July 23, 2007 [13 favorites]


There once was a fellow named me
A son of Manhattan, you see
I sing in free verse 'n'
Stick just to first person:
I am what I are what I be.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:08 AM on July 23, 2007 [15 favorites]


A man from an ancient land
Rates tourism there as bland
There ain't much to view
A broken statue
Is all that's left in the sand
posted by hydrophonic at 9:09 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


I hate and I love, oh it's true
It's excruciating to know you
But Lesbia, dear
Let me be clear
I wanna fuck till we're both black and blue

My Lesbia's has a sparrow she kisses and licks
It repays her by doing all kinds of tricks
To understand the attention
She gives it, I should mention
That "sparrow" is the name of my dick
posted by Kattullus at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


That’s my ex in the painting your eye sees
I must say, she was too easy to please
She loved everyone
So her life now is done
Now, will your daughter give head on her knees?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


God tells Abraham, "Kill your son."
(The version you know? Not this one.)
When God orders, "Belay!"
Isaac still he does slay
And half Europe's men, just for fun.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:14 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Her eyes sparkle, but not like sunlight
She's no angel, plus sometimes we fight
She has prettier peers,
But by god, who cares?
When I'm with her, life is just right.
posted by Firas at 9:17 AM on July 23, 2007 [11 favorites]


After spending two decades of life
Fighting Trojans and monsters and strife
Odysseus's mission
Had just one ambition:
To slay the guys screwing his wife.
posted by wanderingmind at 9:18 AM on July 23, 2007 [34 favorites]


Ooh! Ooh! I thought of another one.

There once was a man, Paul Verlaine
Who said: "In my heart there falls rain"
He said this in the jail
He'd been sent to without bail
For having a certain young boy on the brain.
posted by Kattullus at 9:20 AM on July 23, 2007


Silent melodies, ancient and terse
Sing sweeter than modern day verse
I curse my own pen,
For somehow since then
We've taken an urn for the worse
posted by Wolfdog at 9:22 AM on July 23, 2007 [23 favorites]


"If these drinks- and my heart- so behooves it,
I'll draw you the bitch who removed it!"
With considerable pain
He depicted a dame
A guy could die for- then he proved it.

This is way too much fun.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:22 AM on July 23, 2007


There once was a phenomenal woman
All the menfolk around her were swarmin'
Stylish and free
Phenomenally
Then she got to inaugurate Clinton.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:24 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


There once was a boy named Don Juan
(Which rhymes not with "con" but with "bruin")
This innocent lad
Became such a cad
He filled hundreds of cantos with screwin'
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:25 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


Man! This is a ton fun!

On their way to Canterbury some folks
Met in a bar and shared a few jokes
The writer, his energy depleted
The story never completed
Because he spent all his time having tokes
posted by Kattullus at 9:27 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


We've taken an urn for the worse
I hate you. I love you. I hate you. I love you.
posted by boo_radley at 9:29 AM on July 23, 2007


The best minds of my generation
Went crazy all over the nation
With lots of Molochs
And assholes and cocks
And what's with the Rockland fixation?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:34 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


The redcoats hoped to get the jump
By tying poor Bess to a stump
She alerted her lover-
A thief like no other
With a bang. What a way to get dumped.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:37 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


What sort of twisted diety
Would create a monster like thee?
Sharp teeth and nail
A whip-like tail
Tyger, in my pants you just made me pee.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:37 AM on July 23, 2007


There was this chick Helen, a floozy
Whose looks made once-mighty men woozy.
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit.
As battles go, it was a doozy.

Sing, Muse, of Achilleus' rage
(as recounted by unsighted sage).
Thanks to his wounded pride
Countless Myrmidons died --
And he snuffed it himself, though offstage.
posted by bokane at 9:38 AM on July 23, 2007 [17 favorites]


Rose is a rose is a rose.
No, a rose is a rose is a rose!
But the rose is a rose,
And Rose is a rose
So Rose is a rose is a rose.
posted by Esoquo at 9:42 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


My personal favorite, and the one poem I would choose to memorize if I had the self-discipline

Lady of Shalott

A lady once lived in Shalott
Cursed to weave a whole lot
But she lived thus 'ere long
'Til she heard errant song
From that rat bastard Lancelot

In a serendipitous boat
To old Camelot she did float
When Lancelot did inquire
Had she not been expired
She'd say 'It's your fucking fault, you old goat.'
posted by The Confessor at 9:42 AM on July 23, 2007


Aeneas was a dutiful stiff
That roamed (Rome-d?) for a while in a skiff
Met a hot chick on the coast
But bugged out of her roast
Though I think he caught him a whiff.
posted by Haruspex at 9:43 AM on July 23, 2007


In a poem celebrating the bell
Words onomatopoetically swell
By inducing a jingle
They seduce and then tingle
Till we wonder if we're living in Hell
posted by McLir at 9:44 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


There once was a critter named Tiger
Who was, by repute, quite the fighter
The poet can't believe
That God made it and Eve
And he comments at length on its biters.
posted by Electrius at 9:47 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


My liver's bursting and I've got the flu
My ears are bleeding and my nose is too
Just one second there, friend
You say it's the weekend?
Pssh, I'm going out to hang with my crew!
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2007


The Millionaire, storm-tossed and brave,
Reminded the Skipper (the knave!)
"A three hour tour!
A three hour tour!"
But the Minnow, alas, was not saved.
posted by bovious at 9:51 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


There once was a girl from Shallott
Who loved her some Sir Lancelot,
Snuffed it in a canoe
As her mirror broke in two;
Then quoth Lance, "For a corpse, she's teh hawt."
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:51 AM on July 23, 2007 [13 favorites]


Dang, beat me to it, Confessor.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:52 AM on July 23, 2007


A mountain man, steadfast and true,
Was shooting his gun at some food.
He hit oil instead
And moved his homestead
To Beverly Hills, 902'.
posted by bovious at 9:53 AM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


My inner Robert Graves just died a little.
posted by ikebowen at 9:55 AM on July 23, 2007


FelliniBlank

Your interpretation was far superior, however. T'would delete mine, if I could.
posted by The Confessor at 10:00 AM on July 23, 2007


What the fuck is this pin?
Who am I? Gunga Din?


unSane, your version has the benefit of being hys-frickin'-terical.
posted by steef at 10:11 AM on July 23, 2007


Chicago, you toddling town
There's crime, but I won't feel down
'Cause you move our freight
Your shoulders are great
For vigor, you're much renown'd
posted by hydrophonic at 10:14 AM on July 23, 2007


While other men sleep, drink and revel,
You and I go to face the French devil.
They'll regret it someday
When they realize that they
Could have +5'ed their Honor Rank Level.
posted by pokeydonut at 10:18 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


John Milton, whose metre still shines
Told how, midst prelapsian vines
Eve ate the fruit
And God gave them the boot
But the Devil got all the best lines.
posted by unSane at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2007 [32 favorites]


I saw the best minds of my generation
Undergo a terrible degeneration
And you'd see this facade
Is a terrible God
If you'd just share some of my medication.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:22 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


You neurosis, your foibles, your hating
All resulted from your parents' mating
This abomination
Affects each generation
So above all, avoid procreating.
posted by bibliowench at 10:23 AM on July 23, 2007 [17 favorites]


Like the night, in her beauty she strides
In the darkness her light is my guide
Her allure leaves me spent
But she's still innocent
(I'm Lord Byron, so trust me: I tried.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:23 AM on July 23, 2007 [49 favorites]


grasshopper, e.e. cummings

a creature of uPshifts and dash-es
i caught it in: (tender parenthesis)
but it threatenes to break
out into 1337-speak
for it scr(ambles) my typeWriter's keyses
posted by kid ichorous at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2007 [10 favorites]


There once was a man named Will
Who could write with incredible skill,
He made skilfull allusions
But there was much confusion
Whether his love was a boy or a girl.
posted by djgh at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2007


Dammit, repeated use of variant of skill. Must. Re-read. Limerick. Before posting.
posted by djgh at 10:26 AM on July 23, 2007


A filial girl named Mulan
Didn't want Dad to fight for the Khan.
So she bought her a saddle
And rode off to battle,
The whole time disguised as a man.
posted by bokane at 10:35 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The fog it may come and go
On little cat’s feet, don’t you know
Or so said the poet
But I say “oh blow it”
He never lived in San Francisco.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:35 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


The worst month is April, it’s true
Life in death makes me so blue
That though I refer to
Some books, I prefer to
Sing twit twit twit jug jug Tereu.
posted by LucretiusJones at 10:37 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


When Trickster arrived as a cat
He brought mischief beneath his tall hat
Then mayems ensue
From Things One and Two
And the stodgy old goldfish done shat
posted by McLir at 10:37 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


We are the men stuffed with cotton
Our dried voices are hissing and rotten
Between thought and act is
A space with some cactus
Without Dante, we'd all be forgotten.
posted by LucretiusJones at 10:42 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


Dear reader, the smell in the air
Is hashish. You're invited to share
My dreams of the noose
And mullato caboose
Hypocrite! Mon semblable! Mon Frere!
posted by unSane at 10:45 AM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


It's best if you call me Ishmael
With Ahab I sought the White Whale
When it was found
everyone drowned
'cept for me who brought you this tale.
posted by Floydd at 10:55 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


It's really neat to see all these poems. I say "see" rather than "read" because I'm honor-bound not to read them, in case I do a sequel.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 11:00 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Frosty poet John Shade was regaining
His waxwing muse -- yet unattaining
Melancholic and gin-soaked
He was killed before Kinbote
(But the comments are more entertaining)
posted by McLir at 11:06 AM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


My late wife, now in coffin confined,
In a vision appeared in my mind.
She was robed all in white,
Which shone though it was night --
Then I woke, and remembered: I'm blind.
posted by bokane at 11:09 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thinking about suicide,
I list ways others have tried
They're all quite gruesome!
Well, win some, lose some
For now, I'll put it aside
posted by hydrophonic at 11:10 AM on July 23, 2007


Turning thirty and lost in a wood,
Can't escape-- but met Virgil, who could.
Now I'm going through Hell
For my dead teenage belle.
Man, the payoff had better be good.
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:12 AM on July 23, 2007 [11 favorites]


'Neath the "Welcome to Death Valley" sign
a bestial critter did dine
He ate of his heart
which surely was tart
but not nearly as bitter as mine.
posted by hermitosis at 11:23 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


I could write much better limericks than all of you if I wasn't too busy criticizing yours.

-Howard Bloom
posted by Esoquo at 11:26 AM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


Twelve weddings I saw from a train
As it curled through the cows and the grain
Under each hat
The women were fat
I think I'll vote Thatcher again
posted by unSane at 11:28 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


This party's like picking a scab
Too much Michelangelo gab
I'm scared to eat fruit
And look thin in a suit
I really should have been a crab
posted by brain_drain at 11:31 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


A rich man there was, name o' Corey
A well dressed young chap, quite a Tory
Though his prospects seemed bright
on one calm summer night,
the end of his tale proved quite gory.

Some plums, in the icebox once were
They were juicy and sweet, I am sure
Don't tell me I'd hate 'em
The fact is, I ate 'em
Tough luck if that makes me a boor.

All the whores and bartenders and clerks
and the publishers, (man, are they jerks)
still can't see the bird blue
I would weep, if they knew,
But the "whisky and cigarettes" works.

Traitors, cowards, slaves mun flee
Freemen stand, and on wi' me
Now, the Bruce, follow
o'er fields lang gone fallow
Be we living or dead, we stand free!

A bird and a cat in a boat
bought a ring from a pig (not a goat)
by a turkey, they wed
and they took off to bed
but that part's rather more than Lear wrote.
posted by Narual at 11:36 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Leaves of grass, my ass
Leaves of grass, my ass
Damn you Walt Whitman
Damn you Walt Whitman
Leaves of grass my ass
posted by ORthey at 11:37 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


Loved, loved, loved the "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night"! Fantastic. Yeah, the meter on the last one (with the piggy back ride) sucked, but that doesn't detract from the wealth. Thanks, Lore! (I know, I should be posting a limerick. Coming soon!)
posted by misha at 11:38 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


A pro wrestler one third divine
Sought and won a fabulous vine
This weed gave life without end
He wouldn't die like his friend!
But a snake said, No, sssssir, that's mine.
posted by Haruspex at 11:40 AM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


anyone's how town might be pretty to see
but your description of it made no sense to me
what the fuck were you smokin'?
something of your's was broken
its called the motherfucking shift key
posted by ND¢ at 11:41 AM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Compare you to a summer's day?
You're much nicer I, poet, say
the rude wind shakes buds
And death makes us duds
But you'll be with me all the way


(sorry, Will)
posted by baggers at 11:48 AM on July 23, 2007


Let me count all the ways that I love you:
To great depths and to heights far above you
And when you're deceased,
I expect, at the least,
God will grant a few fond memories of you.

Aw, that turned out kind of sweet.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:52 AM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


The young won't get of my lawn
in Ireland; my childhood's flown.
So I'm sailing away
To a place in Turk-ay:
Club Med for the Golden Dawn
posted by kid ichorous at 11:54 AM on July 23, 2007


Someone please please do Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Pleeeeeeese.....!!!
posted by ramix at 11:58 AM on July 23, 2007


I know I shall die in the skies,
Though war is a thing I despise.
Either way it's a loss
For Kiltartan Cross...
In the air I shall now vaporize.
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:01 PM on July 23, 2007


Alligator pie is so damn yummy
That it's all that I want in my tummy
If you take all my stuff
I won't cry or be gruff
Just keep your grubby hands off my alligator pie bucko!
posted by Meatbomb at 12:04 PM on July 23, 2007


Ramix: how about just the Epilogue?

There once was an everyday guy -
His virtues? I won't even try.
He had, in the end,
All he wished for: a friend;
Now he's fled to the clouds in the sky.
posted by wanderingmind at 12:08 PM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


the recipe thomas mallory
used for the arthurian story:
eighty percent jousting,
fifteen percent boasting,
and five percent damn allegory.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:14 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


In the graveyard, now night's on the way
I think upon those who decay.
Some were lovely and young,
Some were heroes unsung,
But they're gone. As shall I be, someday.
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:14 PM on July 23, 2007 [8 favorites]


Kinghood my birthright should gift me
Shall I shed too too solid flesh swiftly?
Or shall I suffer my portions
Of outrageous fortunes?
Well, if I die I'll take other folks with me
posted by McLir at 12:18 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ramix, I tried:

Well, this cemetery's alright with me
It's a quiet place, God knows, to be
Whatever your life's lot
There are worse places to rot
Or jot down a memento mori.
posted by Haruspex at 12:18 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


A knight-errant, looking quite pale,
Was asked, "Sir, from what do you ail?"
"I've been duped by," said he,
"La belle dame sans merci,
And I fear I shall soon kick the pail."

Rhyming "pail" with "pale" doesn't quite work, does it?
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:34 PM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


"My poor Cantos won't cohere
I hate Jews, goddam, I swear;
No, there's no struc-
ture, it's all in flux
[Insert pithy Chinese character here]."
posted by Haruspex at 12:45 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK sorry, I'll stop, but wow, this is a blast. And some of you guys are too clever by half.
posted by Haruspex at 12:49 PM on July 23, 2007


Just now you are young, but in time
you'll be 40 and hideously lined
with wrinkles and so on.
You'd better have children,
or no one will know you were fine.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:50 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rhyming "pail" with "pale" doesn't quite work, does it?

Just change "pale" to "frail," and you knock it outta the park.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:51 PM on July 23, 2007


The weather, that day, it sure stank
The water was cold, the wind frank
In a storm, dark and gloomy
On the great Gitche Gumme
The Edmund Fitzgerald, it sank.

(Repeat 500 times)
posted by bovious at 12:58 PM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


I'll only remedy transgresses.
    But saints don't succumb to promises.
Even prayers to above?
    They might yield for god's love!
Then in Heaven's name I take this kiss.
posted by Firas at 12:59 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Odyssey

The Iliad
posted by zeugitai_guy at 1:04 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


He snuck in her bedroom, the tw*t,
And soon wished he hadn't. For *t
Produced a discovery
From which no recovery:
A box full of Celia's sh*t.
posted by unSane at 1:06 PM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


When Annabel started to sicken
The angels made sure she was stricken
Now I get so depressed
That I just cannot rest
'Til I creep to her crypt for a quick 'n.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:09 PM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


There once was a poem as lovely as a tree
That is something you rarely see
The bottom line was that trees are cool
And, in contrast to poets, God is no fool
And, by the way, Joyce Kilmer ain’t a she
posted by found missing at 1:11 PM on July 23, 2007


It must be all poets' duty
To write about truth and beauty.
Keats took his turn
In an ode on an urn.
Now: did he mean it, or didn't he?
posted by cerebus19 at 1:11 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


In the wind, the answer is blowin'
To all of life's questions worth knowin'
Like "Who's wrong or right?"
And "How long must we fight?"
But first you must solve this Zen koan.
posted by rocket88 at 1:13 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


next to some lovely white hens,
I spotted a cart that had been-
glazed by the rain,
causing me to proclaim,
upon this, so much depends!
posted by pb at 1:13 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


not really famous, but my favorite poem:
Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town:

Anyone had a real funny name
Noone had her parents to blame
it was a big mess;
then they died, I guess
But loved each other all the same
posted by Arturus at 1:17 PM on July 23, 2007


Sir Gawain imagined him dead
When he cut off the green giant's head,
But he refixed his noggin!
(Apart from some snoggin'
There's little else needs to be said.)
posted by unSane at 1:22 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


So, is Bad Gods the new Brunching Shuttlecocks?
posted by JHarris at 1:27 PM on July 23, 2007


"Beautiful railway bridge of the silv'ry Tay!"
Recited Sir William Topaz McGonagall one day
To a group of pretty young dames
Who thought his lines quite lame
And he didn't get laid for a very long time, I'm very sorry to say.
posted by Kattullus at 1:29 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


There once was a wheelbarrow red
Upon which so much did depend.
With water it glistened
Beside the white chickens.
I guess that means something. The end.
posted by team lowkey at 1:30 PM on July 23, 2007 [20 favorites]


That was pretty meta, Kattullus. And will be remembered a very long time.
posted by Haruspex at 1:36 PM on July 23, 2007


Hiawatha and Minnehaha got hitched
by the shores of the goomy of gitch
where they paddled canoes
and wore doeskin shoes
and hung out in wigwams and setch
posted by Don Pepino at 1:43 PM on July 23, 2007


The world of dew's a world of dew.
I'll say it again -- it's a world of dew.
And yet and then yet,
So yet and still yet,
But is it really a world of dew?

does the haiku-->limerick transition earn me bonus points?
posted by LionIndex at 1:45 PM on July 23, 2007


Kattullus -- bravo. You would have made your namesake proud!
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on July 23, 2007


Yeah, I was trying to think of a way to get the joke last line of 'There was a young bard of Japan' into one of these, but it never occurred to me to use McGonagall. Brilliant!
posted by unSane at 1:47 PM on July 23, 2007


Here's something I wish I'd read before I made my contributions above: Limerick Definition and Techniques

When I was taught that limericks in grade school, the rule was lines 1, 2, and 5 had to have seven syllables, and lines 3 and 4 had to have five syllables. There was no mention of beats. Obviously this was wrong. Was anybody else taught this?
posted by hydrophonic at 1:49 PM on July 23, 2007


Plath's Ariel

On my horse, which I ride quite well
I try to escape from this hell
Off into the sun
Death, here I come!
All this red? Oh shit, I fell.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:49 PM on July 23, 2007


Er, that should probably say Ariel by Plath. but yeah.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:51 PM on July 23, 2007


The best minds of my generation
Wound up in a bad situation.
Sex, drugs and jazz
Caused many to spazz
And blame all their woes on our nation.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:55 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Mr. Death kindly stopped over--
We passed a hill covered in clover.
It's been long since that day
That I'd passed away--
A slant rhyme should do here-- whatever!
posted by RobotHeart at 1:57 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ye Laurels I come to you once more.
They found Lycidas dead by the shore
He couldn't swim,
which did him in
Now let's mope with allusions galore!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:00 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


hydrophonic, that sounds like a mixed-up Westernized tanka to me.
posted by RobotHeart at 2:00 PM on July 23, 2007


You're laughing and pointing. I'm frowning.
You see, I'm not waving, but drowning.
I swam out too deep
So save me, you creep!
And stop all that infernal clowning!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:01 PM on July 23, 2007 [8 favorites]


This poem is not based on anything, but it's a limerick I came up with years and years ago and I've always been fond of it:
There once was a very green Orange...
Nothing rhymes with "orange".
So I ended this poem,
And it flew off to Rome,
And when it got back -- it was orange!
posted by Deathalicious at 2:02 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Let me tot up the ways I love you,
since I've got nothing better to do:
let me see, you got deeply
also widely and weepily
and then all the ways listed in sonnets I - XLII
posted by Don Pepino at 2:06 PM on July 23, 2007


The day that Bill Yeats up and died
The air was quite nippy outside.
But poetry's silly
It does nothing, really --
On second thought, scratch that; I lied.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:06 PM on July 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


Should we also invert this, and write a sonnet about a man from Nantucket?

Nantucket native Dick Soverilong
Who, so endowed could pleasure take at will,
Would oft the praises of his massive schlong
Proclaim till all around had had their fill.

Like an asylum inmate he would grin
And pantomime the snack he held in store;
Then make a show of wiping off his chin,
Till none in town could take it anymore.

The final straw, a boast for all to hear:
That he could plant a seed within his womb
If such were present just behind his ear-
And so he sewed the seeds of his own doom.

The vicar said, “If I may be so blunt,
You’ve pretty much just proved yourself a cunt.”
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:07 PM on July 23, 2007 [23 favorites]


Bad Gods is not the new Brunching Shuttlecocks as such, but it is where I'm putting up a variety of new humor on what's shaping up to be a regular basis, so it's Brunching-esque.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 2:08 PM on July 23, 2007


Oh, and 100 points to whoever can make a limerick out of this gem.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:10 PM on July 23, 2007


Outside, it's all pretty much snow
Inside, all the nice stuff you know
But I'm a long-winded git
So you may well regret
Eschewing the snow for what you know.

Apologies to J.G. Whittier.
posted by Haruspex at 2:12 PM on July 23, 2007


St. Nick stopped by Christmas Eve,
And several nice toys he did leave,
But reindeer poop
Is stuck to our stoop
And the smell is like none you'd believe.
posted by cerebus19 at 2:13 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I feel emo, and life is most shitty,
But most methods, I think, aren't pretty.
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas stinks something awful.
Guess I'll live on and keep being witty.

(Apologies to D. Parker)
posted by RobotHeart at 2:19 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


There once were three mice who were blind
And found themselves in quite a bind
An armed lass of low station
Performed amputations
Now their tails they are looking to find
posted by Meatbomb at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


116.

Let me not admit blocks to true lovers
Love's not love when it changes for others.
It's a star to a ship--
Hey, you birds, here's a tip:
Soon your hair will be gray as your mothers'.
posted by The White Hat at 2:33 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've explored you, but now you're sleepy.
I'm inspired! I've written this plea
Too indecent to print,
But I'm not quite yet spent:
I'm nude, babe, and so should you be!

(To His Mistress Going to Bed, Donne... not so good because the emPHAsis is wrong in the first line, grr. Anyone have a suggestion?)
posted by RobotHeart at 2:34 PM on July 23, 2007


You may thing the St Ives thing is tough
With the wives and their shitloads of stuff
To avoid any hurt
I'll scream ***SPOILER ALERT***
If you answer "just one", that's enough
posted by Meatbomb at 2:34 PM on July 23, 2007 [10 favorites]


Even Yet Still another Rime of the Ancient Mariner:
A sailor through hell did descend
(he caused a seabird's untimely end)
Now he is cursed
to wander the earth,
Saying "Be kind to our web-footed friends."
Ozymandias:
While wandering a desert (the sandiest)
you'll find a statue of old Ozymandias.
Tho riches might find you,
sic transit gloria, he reminds you:
even biggest, or baddest, or fanciest.
posted by mrflip at 2:49 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


The Flea

What's this on ya? Aw, shit it's a flea.
No, don't kill it, I'll make poetry...
We must fuck right away
This flea portends it, 'cause- HEY!
Why'd you wack him ere I finished my concei(t)?
posted by Don Pepino at 2:51 PM on July 23, 2007


You may wonder at first why I scream
But soon all of you join in my scheme
We don't scream out of fear
And we don't shed a tear
We just want a nice dish of ice cream
posted by Meatbomb at 3:01 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ozymandius (with a little poetic license on the Yiddish)

If through the wide desert you shlup,
Your suspicions confirmed, you'll say "Yup,
From these legs and this face
It is clearly the case
That us damn dirty apes blew it up."
posted by pokeydonut at 3:04 PM on July 23, 2007 [10 favorites]


Won't you join me in non-PC fun?
We shall count little male Indians
We will count them to ten
And then count down again
Until we are left with just one
posted by Meatbomb at 3:09 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Jabberwock is a horrible beast
Worse than the Jubjub at least
That is to say
Until one day
Some kid made it deceased!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:17 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ms. Eenie Meenie and her Meinie Moe
Used to catch disyllabics by the toe
"If he hollers," they'd shout,
"Then we must let him out,"
That irresolute Meenie and Moe
posted by Don Pepino at 3:20 PM on July 23, 2007


Poor mouse, I'll apologize now
For wrecking your nest with my plow
Man's dominion, you see
Isn't kind to the wee
And there's nowt I could do, anyhow.
posted by rocket88 at 3:22 PM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


Ten bottles, one fell with a crash!
One more, and another! Smash! Smash!
Five, four, three, two, one!
And finally none.
Darn, I could have returned them for cash!*


*Offer valid in Ontario
posted by unSane at 3:23 PM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


My poem is all about me,
I call it my soliloquy.
If you read it you'll find,
That you're all in my mind,
So my head in an oven will be.
posted by hindmost at 3:29 PM on July 23, 2007


For a gift that will knock off her socks,
Cut a hole for your junk (that's your cock)
in the side of a present,
tell her it's something pleasant...
Hey girl! It's my dick in a box!
posted by team lowkey at 3:35 PM on July 23, 2007 [8 favorites]


The Cremation of Sam McGee

A man by the name of McGee,
Came south from old tennessee.
A hunting for gold,
he always was cold,
when cremated he said let me be.
posted by Captain_Science at 3:37 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bo Peep's work was of lesser precision
She misplaced her flock, failing her mission
But with slothful disdain
She just went home again
They returned of their own disposition
posted by Meatbomb at 3:43 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


There one was a fellow named Knox
Who encountered a troublesome fox
Which started to prattle
About beetle battles
"He can choke on a bucket of cocks!"
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:49 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Fuzzy Wuzzy was not really a bear
He was the breaker of the British square
It's really a crime
About the ole nursery rhyme
But only Kipling and I seem to care.
posted by hindmost at 3:50 PM on July 23, 2007


An anthropic egg ran out of luck
Falling from a wall, spilling his guck
Despite valiant tries
From the king and his guys
Poor young Humpty Dumpty was fucked
posted by Meatbomb at 3:55 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


the duck by the oboe, if only I could favourite more than once! I think you win the Internet with that one.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:00 PM on July 23, 2007


Two paths did diverge in a wood
And choosing between them I stood
Good metaphors, trees
With nice yellow leaves
I would take both those paths if I could

The new path was my inclination
But in case I was very mistaken
I posted to AskMe
All answers but 3
Said take neither, then take a vacation

Dear AskMe, if only I could
Take neither path there through the wood
But both paths are nice
I ignored your advice
And took both-- since it turns out I could
posted by Tehanu at 4:09 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oh, and 100 points to whoever can make a limerick out of this gem.

For Pablo, the poet G. Stein,
Penned a riot of surface and shine.
'They could not a float/
They could not as denote...'
She kept cubing in line after line.
posted by ormondsacker at 4:13 PM on July 23, 2007


When a man named anyone did die
the townfolk batted nary an eye
the seasons did pass
children lay in the grass
watching the sun, moon and stars go by
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:20 PM on July 23, 2007


There once was a man named Revere
About whose tale wee-ones do hear
Two lanterns were hung
A horse ride begun
And a revolt was thus sprung
From the shot of one gun
posted by ericb at 4:30 PM on July 23, 2007


(That was "If I Told Him", going out by request to deathalicious. Coming up next on the blue, more limericks.)
posted by ormondsacker at 4:31 PM on July 23, 2007


so gravely immortal, i am the fly by emily's pen
i drank the last drops from the wells of her eyes at the end
i laid new hope for life in her blue fingertips
but the future's a smile on a spider's sly lips
born in a now that has already passed into then
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:41 PM on July 23, 2007


With apologies to Yeats...

There once was a falconer who found
His falcon was circling around
Some things fall apart;
The blood-dimmed tide starts,
and the ceremony of innocence is drowned.
posted by cacophony at 4:46 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Because of this thread, I'm naming my new kitten "Limerick".
posted by hermitosis at 4:53 PM on July 23, 2007


So many people got to "Howl" before I got to this thread. Ah, well.

The best minds of my age cohort, wrecked
And now I begin to suspect
There's nothing so funky
As a hipster, gay junkie
Carl Solomon, pick up the check.
posted by enrevanche at 5:17 PM on July 23, 2007


I worked on this all day, thinking I was so clever. Sigh.

Potato salad, pamphlets, soup, cock,
and Carl, boxcars, and Moloch
all shared some long lines
about Allen's best minds
and then he said Holy a lot.
posted by roll truck roll at 5:27 PM on July 23, 2007


Bashō wandered through much of Japan,
Preferring his journeys one-man.
He recalled, rather fond,
A frog's leap into pond.
Seventeen syllables? That's the plan.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:08 PM on July 23, 2007


A brigand arrived from Nantucket
To abscond with mah beautiful bucket
While, mutely, above
Connoisseur of Self-Love
Who sat on his hand lest he fuck it
-- Lolcatullus

[/site-appropriate derail]
posted by Danelope at 6:17 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


It's been done once above, please forgive:

Arma virumque cano,
Aeneas our Trojan hero
Lost his first city
But Dido took pity
And soon he was off founding Rome.

That almost rhymes, right?
posted by krakedhalo at 6:36 PM on July 23, 2007


That Zeus was a randy old cad
And he jonesed for young Leda real bad
He turned into a swan
And he piled right on
Now you're stuck reading the Iliad.
posted by willpie at 6:39 PM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


I'm rolling my wheels about thirty
With my girlfriend along acting flirty
Flashes red! Flashes blue!
Through my tinted rear view
They try to catch me riding dirty

Poetry set to rhythm, eh?
posted by The Confessor at 6:59 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


French primers arrived, bound in red,
To drill la langue belle in young heads:
The pair mounted a hill,
Filled a pail, took a spill.
"Their names? Jacques and Gilles, Rev. Fred."
posted by rob511 at 7:15 PM on July 23, 2007


I work all day long then get drunk,
Then comes night, just as black as a trunk.
I lay there and stare
And see death in the air,
And come morning, I'm stuck in a funk.
posted by rocketman at 7:46 PM on July 23, 2007


If thou chargest me speaketh the truth,
Onlie begetter, than I shall, forsooth:
For a summer's day
Is ever so gay,
But nought 'longside thee, o fair youth!
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:53 PM on July 23, 2007


This morning I caught morning's guy,
He was wimpling up in the sky!
So much beauty was there;
So much pride, plume, and air,
That a ploughman might see it and cry.
posted by washburn at 8:11 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now darling don't you go a-flittin',
Not when I'm so badly smitten!
Love's not for the tarrying type,
Joy's fruit is best when ripe
So part those lips, our fate is written.
posted by Firas at 8:12 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


There once was a man at CalTech
who went and pronounced "what the heck
It's been raining all day
I've got nothing to say
these guys are a pain in the neck."

(probably the only case where the limerick is LONGER than the actual poem.)
posted by Lucinda at 8:30 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


You sling the cable electric
And your trousers doth burst pyrotechnic
Now I shall deride you
With this rhyme wrought to chide you
You're a liar, you liar, accept it
posted by McLir at 8:35 PM on July 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


My mouth fills with water quite cloudy
My struggles increasingly rowdy
Out here in the ocean
You ignore my commotion
You fucker, I'm not saying howdy!

God, I love Stevie Smith. And limericks.
posted by MsMolly at 8:37 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


My world's full of imperfection,
All toothless to her confection
I must spurn your offer
To strip off her hauteur:
For every strand has my attention.
posted by Firas at 8:39 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Lord's Limerick

There once was a Father in Heaven
Who saved us from deadly sins, seven
He will forgive us
Forgive others we must
And plus we get bread that is leavened

Amen
posted by Rock Steady at 9:02 PM on July 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


Your children aren't actually yours,
You own their world, but don't own their souls
So don't resist their flow
Like arrows, let them go
And be glad God picked you for these chores.
posted by Firas at 9:11 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


i could do this forever
posted by Firas at 9:12 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


This city we live in is bad
We begin to suspect we've been had
So we go to the tip
Of this long concrete strip
Where life's magic, and children are glad
posted by vytae at 9:30 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


is it only me that imagines limericks read in Benny Hill's voice...?

it is?

right, then. that merely confirms i'm mad. carry on.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:32 PM on July 23, 2007


There once was a wee angry lad
Whom critics made very mad
So he picked up the quail
And described in detail
How they got so atrociously bad.
posted by mediareport at 9:35 PM on July 23, 2007


E. E. is gonna just kiss you
And damn the syntactical issue,
Cause you only live once,
So do all your own stunts.
And make love to the one who'll miss you.



Quite possibly the best mefi thread ever.
posted by krakedhalo at 9:44 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


From nuclear winter I shiver --
The zombies are after my liver;
Ring Number 10 Downing
'Cos London is drowning
And I'm living down by the river.

FAIL.
posted by milquetoast at 10:16 PM on July 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


At end-1879
a train on the Edinburgh Line
did fall in the Tay
on the last sabbath day:
The passengers drowned in the brine.

If this were truer to the original, I should have got the meter entirely wrong.
posted by genghis at 10:21 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


A bath at the end of the day
is a good way to wash mud away.
If you've been ducking Nazgul
avoiding Ring trouble
successfully, then you sing "Hey!"

:D
posted by Lynsey at 10:25 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


STOP IT, JUST STOP IT PLEASE. please, please stop before it's too late
posted by KingoftheWhales at 10:30 PM on July 23, 2007


The King of the Whales, coming late,
Added little to poems or debate.
I added a flag -
"That's noise, you great dag!
It's limericks or nothing, got me, mate?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:50 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


A Scotsman of good pedigree
Went off on a great killing spree
Misled into vice
By three witches' advice.
(They blamed it on GTA 3.)
posted by Krrrlson at 11:23 PM on July 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


There once was a snail so lowly,
who aspired to reach something holy.
And so, foot by foot,
His foot he did put.
O snail, climb Mount Fuji, but slowly!
posted by team lowkey at 11:51 PM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Young lovers, our revels are ended:
We must follow, as fate hath intended.
Towers, temples shall fall,
And our actors shall all
Turn to spirits (the kind that are blended.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:02 AM on July 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


This fucking place is fucking down
I cannot shake this fucking frown
The fucking surf
Is fucking turf
Is evidently chicken town
posted by seanyboy at 12:14 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


There once was a spider named Incy,
Whose surname was (rhymingly) Wincy.
He climbed up a spout,
Was flushed right back out -
Sun came & then up more went Incy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:21 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll have a try...

it may not always be so - e.e. cummings

if you said it never could be
and chose some poor shmuck over me
I would shake his hands
and probably dance
and yodel "good riddance to thee!"

Hmyeah.
posted by Skyanth at 12:28 AM on July 24, 2007


My dad seemed the happiest when
Digging up a potato or ten
But I wasn't made
To handle a spade
Instead, I will dig with my pen
posted by honeydew at 2:12 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


A cat in a hat came a-calling
After buckets of snow had been falling
He left his pink ring
On many a thing
Which caused quite a loud caterwaulling

But under his hat were the other
Well doffed cats who proceeded to smother
That terrible pink
And the alpha cat's stink
But where was the absentee mother??

(Please accept my heartfelt apologies but I just couldn't resist).

(Oh and boo to the HP spoiler - I had to avert my eyes).
posted by h00py at 2:31 AM on July 24, 2007


This relationship must come to an end
and so an ultimatum i've penned
In hopes that I might
win you I recite:
Hey You I don't like your girlfriend.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:58 AM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Whenever with others I'm sleeping,
Cynara's fair shade comes a-creeping.
She blights my desires
And quenches love's fires,
But my faith to her still I am keeping.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:51 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


a Vogon limerick:

My turlingdromes all are a-foont
Oh, crinkly, drangle me hoopt'
Come groop, lurgid bee
Or I'll rend thee
With my blurglecruncheon see if i don't
posted by DarkForest at 3:54 AM on July 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


Lord Alfred, the laureate clever,
Embarked on a morbid endeavor:
"My dear Henry left me,
Poor little bereft me!"
(His elegy goes on forever)
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:16 AM on July 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


A fellow called Charles Baudelaire
Wrote of Don Juan aux enfers
How his little boat sped
Past the damned and the dead
While the moaning hung low on the air
posted by Skyanth at 5:58 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Low in the air. Dammit.
posted by Skyanth at 5:59 AM on July 24, 2007


Yo, Death, don't be prideful, old bloke,
Your power is kind of a joke
Your sting just won't stick,
You arrogant prick:
I'll wake up in heaven; you'll croak.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:11 AM on July 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


And while we're at it:

Hey, God, punch my heart! Please get busy!
I'm in a devotional tizzy:
My sins won't escape me
Unless you date rape me!
(Not much of a masochist, is he?)
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:12 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


FelliniBlank, change the first line:
"Yo, three-person'd God, please get busy!"

Then it's perfeck.
posted by Don Pepino at 6:46 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


with apologies to my namesake, another one which is longer than the original...

In the midst of the woods was a glade
with an old pond in the shade.
In jumped a frog
from his perch on a log
and "Splash" was the sound that he made.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:01 AM on July 24, 2007


Double-boo to the HP spoiler; a) it's not even close to a poem and b) next time add some lines between the warning and the spoiler. Why on earth would you even *think* to do that like that?
posted by mediareport at 7:19 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


As I rode my horse through woods and snow,
I stopped for to paint some snow yellow.
'Twas a nice place to pee,
And I'd love a nappy,
But I gotta get home to watch porno.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:23 AM on July 24, 2007


The Colonel

His home was like any back in the States
With television, pets and dinner plates
But with his bag of ears
Not all was as appears
And I could think only of the hell he creates
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 8:03 AM on July 24, 2007


I caught a tremendous big trout
But I had to release the old lout
He had wallpaper skin
And eyes like old tin
And thrashed bilgewater rainbows about
posted by Don Pepino at 8:23 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Smash the clock, throw the phone, muffle Rover
For my days that were once green as clover
Have all turned to shit
Cos he's snuffed it, you git
And he ruined my compass, moreover
posted by h00py at 8:56 AM on July 24, 2007 [11 favorites]


Hawk Roosting

I sit in the top of the wood
I don't care for 'must' or for 'should'
I eat and I kill
I do what I will
I'm a hawk. And I talk! Life is good.

I couldn't do Sylvia and not Ted, really, could I?
posted by unSane at 10:23 AM on July 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


My offal is being gnawed by a skunk
I'm paranoid, schizophrenic and drunk
But our Puritans have gone missing
Where blind lovers are kissing...
Dammit, Liz, I'm in one hell of a funk
posted by Haruspex at 10:24 AM on July 24, 2007


So I get up one night for a piss
And yawning back to bed I saw this:
That lozenge of love
in the sky far above
to my age and decrepitude bears witness.
posted by jokeefe at 11:00 AM on July 24, 2007


There once was a man from Nantucket
Well, Fayetteville, really, but f*ck it
He drowned in the sea
No gravestone has he
Just a poem when he kicked the bucket

The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket (for Warren Winslow, Dead At Sea), with apologies to Robert Lowell
posted by ziz at 11:00 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey Dad, I can see that your face
did not rot in your plane's cold embrace
I won't turn you in,
Please come back again
From your compulsive orbit in space.
posted by whir at 11:19 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Waiting for you I count the time
Infinities and eons, they seem sublime
eternity with ease
ah but you tease
when you withhold the hour that is mine

with apologies to Emily Dickinson
posted by infini at 11:21 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


The life that we lead is a slog,
Even great books are dull as a bog.
But we must not say
That we're bored to dismay.
By the way, have you seen my dog?
posted by whir at 11:37 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


In "Sestina" the whole house is psychic
From the grandmother to her child sidekick
To the tears on the stove:
They all already know.
The almanac's mostly just icing.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:27 PM on July 24, 2007


Hamlet's dead dad once did sing:
That "Claudius planned the whole thing!"
It went to his head
Now look! They're all dead
Hey Fortinbras! Wanna be king?
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:44 PM on July 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


(every time I look at this thread, I can't help but spend a few minutes and write a new one.)
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:45 PM on July 24, 2007


There was an old man in a boat
who fished with hands bleeding from rope
his all was for nought
why he oughta have brought
explosive harpoons and a scope
posted by anthill at 1:58 PM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Visual addendum
posted by anthill at 1:59 PM on July 24, 2007


There once was a guy who couldn't rhyme,
for this he could not make a dime,
Til he was peeling an orange,
and got caught on a door-hinge,
and now he can rhyme all the time.

Yeah, that's right. Orange and door-hinge. Orange and door-hinge. Orange and door-hinge. ORANGE AND DOOR-HINGE.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 2:06 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I usually rhyme "orange" with "coke-whore binge," but I'm edgy that way.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:10 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nice.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 2:13 PM on July 24, 2007


I usually rhyme "orange" with "coke-whore binge," but I'm edgy that way.

(as a bit of a conservative in these matters, i usually stick with the more traditional "crack-whore minge")

posted by UbuRoivas at 2:17 PM on July 24, 2007


Ms DarkForesst writes:

Now that I'm getting so old
I'd rather be made out of gold
My soul wants to sing
But it's tied to this thing
That smells like it's starting to mold.

and

There’s a question I’d ask if I dared
But I think I’ll go back down the stairs
And go on and get old
And wear my pants rolled,
With a spreading bald spot in my hair.
posted by DarkForest at 3:17 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


So does anything rhyme with "tonsils"?

I need to know, as I've got a song called "nothing rhymes with tonsils" and I'd hate to be wrong.
posted by davejay at 4:27 PM on July 24, 2007


Jon kills, wills, shills, often spills and sometimes ills.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:31 PM on July 24, 2007


The lights from the rocks start to twinkle
And the wind makes the anchor chains jingle.
Though time's made me weak
We can still strive and seek
To find out if Calypso's still single.
posted by pokeydonut at 5:24 PM on July 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I lost my sunglasses, a vest,
the house I considered the best,
a watch, a pool cue,
a continent, you,
and now I feel (Write it!) depressed.
posted by sleevener at 6:03 PM on July 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


My buddy's name's surely not John,
but I yammer and still yammer on,
it's so dark, we should buy
a big car, he sd "Guy,
you just drove across somebody's lawn!"
posted by sleevener at 6:10 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


For ol' Jeoffry here has some dexterity.
For his eyes have the Almighty's clarity.
For his fur's full of lightning.
For his whiskers are frightening.
For in verse, he inspires sincerity.
posted by sleevener at 6:20 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


There once was a boy, yes there was
who cut wood with a saw that went buzz
cut his hand off and died
but nobody cried
For them, same as it ever was.
posted by Lucinda at 6:32 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh crap, I used "was" twice. Um. Sorry.
posted by Lucinda at 6:35 PM on July 24, 2007


No matter how anyone gauges,
I've been eviler than evil for ages.
Yeah I'm worster than worst,
and curseder than cursed --
and so on for 200 pages.
posted by sleevener at 6:46 PM on July 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


I met a lad, mail-clad, dying. 'Twas fall.
Galahad vowed a gal he'd been in thrall
To pursued and then wooed him,
Having screwed him, adieu'd him.
She left only her name, he claimed — "Phacqialle."
posted by rob511 at 7:43 PM on July 24, 2007


Three Walt Whitman Limericks, In Case Anybody Is Still Reading This Thread

A Noiseless, Patient Spider
I watched an arachnid whose goal
Was to shoot out some webs from its butthole.
It threw out each anchor
Like some tireless wanker,
So you do the same, O my soul.

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd
This thirteen-page poem is fraught
With death serenades overwrought.
There's some shit about flowers,
And it goes on for hours
While Lincoln dies of a headshot.

Earth, My Likeness
Oh planet, I try not to gawk,
But some young guy my world has rocked.
My ardor athletic
Gets me all frenetic,
Now 'scuse me whilst I suck a cock.
posted by the_bone at 9:08 PM on July 24, 2007


In Flanders Fields sat a Canuck
Who wrote about war run amok
And his friend, who'd been killed.
Now the ten-dollar bill
Bears his words, but in war we're still stuck.
posted by oaf at 10:10 PM on July 24, 2007


One must have a mind like winter
To deal with snow's cold and sun's glitter,
You'll see nothing missing,
Just nothing existing!
But I'm a Snowman most bitter.
posted by anotherbrick at 12:48 AM on July 25, 2007


Some hunters have messed up the wall
That my neighbor and I strove to install.
I'd go out on a limb
And say something to him
But his mind is a little too small.
posted by whir at 12:49 AM on July 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


"My Humps"

Pray, what will she do with her junk?
That junk permeating her trunk?
She shall wiggle her hump
And her sweet lady lumps...
I prefer the Grand Railroad of Funk.
posted by Silky Slim at 2:12 AM on July 25, 2007 [5 favorites]


I chiefly remember the cold
And the camels, recalcitrant, bold.
The stable was shitty,
The child itty bitty.
I filled with unease, and felt old.
posted by unSane at 6:06 AM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Title of Limerick Goes Here

Describe person. Include their location.
Insert ludicrous situation.
Now adumbrate
Before it's too late.
The last line's a cute revelation.
posted by unSane at 7:50 AM on July 25, 2007 [20 favorites]


War's over. They're all fucking now.
Except me! I'm a hunchback, and how.
Since I'm not a drillin'
What's left, but a villain?
(My horse dies, and I have a cow)
posted by unSane at 8:12 AM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Design

Albinism freaks me, it's true.
You may find it's the same way for you
if you peep this white spider
and this white moth beside her
On this white bloom that's sposed to be blue.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:44 AM on July 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


A hurt hawk once filled me with dread
So I got my old gun from the shed.
I muttered "Ah shit,
I'm a depressing old git--
I'd rather shoot a person instead."
posted by whir at 11:56 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


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