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Peter Sheil

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[Feb. 15th, 2006|11:19 am]
Peter Sheil
I'd like to share with you a limerick - not one I've written personally but one that is ... well read it yourself.


be by Carl Lands

Be. Look. Reach. Poop. Bathe. Turn. Sleep. Cry. Feed.
Puke. Grow. Walk. Talk. Run. Learn. Dream. Love. Breed.
Laugh. Change. Fear. Hate. Fight. Stay.
Work. Drive. Need. Slump. Plead. Play.
Stop. Smell. Shirk. Age. Think. Wait. Ail. Fall. Bleed.

[User Picture]From: kevinrtaylor
2006-02-15 01:52 pm (UTC)
Comment to Carl:

I have trouble seeing this as a limerick.
I can forgive the non-standard number of syllables per line,
but this is all spondees or mollossi.
I expect a limeric to be close to:

iamb anapest anapest
iamb anapest anapest
iamb anapest
iamb anapest
iamb anapest anapest

with some of the leading iambic feet optionally replaced with anapesti.
(not antipasti)

Be good. Be a writer of style.
Write lines that will make us all smile.
The verse may be bad,
and sentiment sad,
But don't make your metre a mile.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: petersheil
2006-02-15 02:10 pm (UTC)

We have long discussions on exactly what makes a limerick (let alone a good one) on the oedilf web site (in the forums and in the workshopping of the limericks). Whilst the form you are suggesting is a perfectly valid limerick stressing schems there are many more we accept. From our "Standards and Guidlines" (http://bbs.oedilf.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=908)
2. What is a Limerick? – A limerick is:

A. five lines long,
B. in anapest meter,
C. with lines 1, 2 and 5 being three metrical feet long (da-da-DAH da-da-DAH da-da-DAH) and rhyming with each other, and
D. with lines 3 and 4 being two metrical feet long (da-da-DAH da-da-DAH) and rhyming with each other.
E. and that’s about it.

Some will say that it’s usually humorous (or, strangely, that it has to be humorous; I’ve never understood that) and that it may often deal with matters pertaining to sex (or, stranger still, ditto the above comment) but we don’t.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kevinrtaylor
2006-02-15 02:54 pm (UTC)
Poetry is more than just syllable counting and rhyme, and in many forms the metre is important, as shown by the rule B you quoted.

From the same source:

3. Meter – Since a strong anapest meter is the heart of any limerick, nothing will hobble your writing more quickly than awkward stresses.

Which is my point. The quoted poem does not fall naturally or even with mild coercion into anapest meter.
Try reading it aloud.

Iambs in the first foot are however perfectly acceptable, as in:

There was a young bard of Japan

and in my experience more common than anapest, especially in the first line.

From the same site as "be":

Beryllium's element four,
Found in many a mineral ore.
A light metal that's brittle,
Long contact with it'll
Cause health problems tough to ignore.

Lines 1 and 4 start with iambs.
Lines 3 and 4 have an extra unstressed syllable at the end, this being part of the humour.

I suppose it comes down to whether you see poetry as art or science.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: petersheil
2006-02-15 06:28 pm (UTC)
Poetry is certainly art, but can have "rules" applied to it. So for a limerick you usually have a rhyming scheme AABBA, the meter is anapestic and often the subject is humerous.

Within the OEDILF our A lines are generally :--

(x) (x) X x x X x x X (x) (x)
Where (x) is an optional unstressed syllable,
x is an unstressed syl and
X is a stressed syl.

Since we are trying to write a limerick for every word in the English language, there will be many times when we have to use words that do not readily fit into an anapest meter and have to "adjust" to fit them in.

Maybe you hould join the site and submit some limericks yourself?
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