On Tuesday, when that old friend wrote me and the half-dozen other classmates about reciting Sonnet 18 to his wife, he addressed me as the poet laureate of the group, which flattered me, I told him, because about all I'd written lately had been limericks.
A flurry of exchanges about Shakespeare's sonnets ensued among about half the members of the group. That afternoon, I asked a friend on the afternoon bus I take to go from my office to where I board my commute van home whether he knew what a limerick was. I asked him because I knew that he was taking high school level classes and one of them involved reading and discussing poetry. He didn't seem to know what a limerick was, however; at least he wasn't familiar with the term. So I recited one for him, one of the earliest I ever heard and also one of my favorites, connected as it is with the exchange group:
A few hours later, one of the exchange group members who hadn't said anything yet offered
On whose palm was tattooed the price of pale ale;
And on her hand's back,
For those who sight lacked,
Was the same information in braille.
One final thought, and this is purely from memory:And I replied by quoting the barmaid limerick. At which point another member not yet heard from offered
There once was a sailor named Bates,
Who could do a fandango on skates.
But he fell on his sword,
Which severed his chord,
And rendered him songless at fêtes.
This one is relevant for Mo and [another member of the group who works in a town with at least one covered shopping center]:Well, as if it hadn't gotten bad enough already, the sailor-on-skates member returned to add that
There was a young lady named Edith Hall,
Who used dynamite to stop and end it all.
They found her lower half
Hanging from a gaff,
And the upper half of her in the mall.
I wasn’t going to send this one, as it usually makes any female cringe, but Mo, I take this as a challenge.It makes females cringe?
There once was a man from Nantucket,
Whose nose was so long he could suck it.
He said with a grin,
As he wiped off his chin,
If my eyebrow were that long I'd pluck it.
Some limericks are so awfully badAnd that is my title limerick on [the raunchier variety of traditional] dirty limericks. Recite a mildly dirty limerick, and it'll more than likely go downhill from there.
They make both men and women sad;
Why are limericks so dirty,
Are their authors that flirty?
Couldn't they just bowdlerize and be glad?