My Inauspicious Return

Virtual life had to give way to real life for the last 3 days, so I will carry National Poetry Month three days into May in order to fulfill my stated purpose of a poem a day in celebration of poetry.

Today’s device from William Packard’s The Poet’s Dictionary:  A Handbook of Prosody and Poetic Devices is (oh, dear)

    Limerick:  Usually anonymous five-line light verse poem, generally with surprise or eccentric RHYMES, with first and second and fifth lines in anapestic trimeter [ . . / . . /. . / ], and with a rhyme scheme of a/a/b/b/a.  Limericks often play on geographical or proper names, and commonly treat an outrageous subject irreverently.

    Critical comment on the limerick tends to stress its anti-literary pedigree; thus Arnold Bennett said, “All I have to say about limericks is that the best ones are entirely unprintable.”  George Bernard Shaw commented, “They are most unfit for publication.  They must be left for oral tradition.”  Film director Mike Nichols, commenting on a limerick contest he was once asked to judge said, “It was easy.  We just threw out the dirty limericks and gave the prize to the one that was left.”

    Commenting on the technical effect of a limerick, Morris Bishop wrote in The New York Times Book Review: “The structure should be a rise from the commonplace reality of line one to logical madness in line five.” Continue reading “My Inauspicious Return”