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  #1  
Unread 08-24-2019, 09:20 AM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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Default House Doodles

I told myself I would stop writing poems like this, but

Old pilgrims checked off of their list
a stone fleeing monarchs had kissed.
The weavers newscastered
that William the Bastard
had origins in mythos and mist.

When Richard the Zionheart chose
to undo what the olive tree sows,
his way to uproot
the soul with the shoot
was different from Sykes and Picot’s.

*see note

The Stuarts threw orgies in France
on the tails of a new renaissance
of Shakespeare and Donne
and species of fun
all promptly shot down by a glance

from the aspect of Oliver Cromwell.
The Hanovers did not salaam well;
though failing to read
their Edward Said
they studied the maps of Assam well.

Subalterns now seek to repugn
the cutaneous damages done
in the glare of the glorious
reign of Victoria’s
halcyon day in the sun.

The Edwards grew limper and limper.
Elizabeth worked on her simper.
A poet once sang
that what starts with a bang
will go out in a definite whimper.
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  #2  
Unread 08-24-2019, 09:21 AM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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*The Tudors stanza is missing since there is no way to format it. Imagine an impossible geometric figure between Henry, God, and man.

Last edited by Orwn Acra; 08-24-2019 at 09:35 AM.
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  #3  
Unread 08-24-2019, 06:51 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Walter,

I like the conceit a good deal and the execution is sprightly. Repugn is a long u for me though.

Cheers,
John
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  #4  
Unread 08-25-2019, 07:47 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Hello O,

Pretty fun limerick string. Here are a few thoughts.

Old pilgrims checked off of their list
a stone fleeing monarchs had kissed.

--> consider "a stone that fleeing monarchs kissed"
The tense might be slightly off, but for me *fleeing* is a big stumble because I want to use it as the verb to the subject stone. There's already an inversion, so for me a little smoothing goes a long way.

The weavers newscastered
that William the Bastard
had origins in mythos and mist.

-->I like "newscastered" a lot.

When Richard the Zionheart chose
to undo what the olive tree sows,
his way to uproot
the soul with the shoot
was different from Sykes and Picot’s.

-->"his way to uproot" stumbled me at first as I read it an awkward phrasing of "on his way to uproot". That's not as strong a lead into a misread as I feel the first line is, but perhaps in L2 a period instead of a comma?


*see note --> Imo, don't do this. You might want to write a stanza about the way that there's no way to format a stanza for Henry, God, and man. In fact, that sort of sounds like a good concluding line "between this Henry, God and man. ...a wry tangle/an impossible triangle... not very good examples, but hopefully a catalyst.

The Stuarts threw orgies in France
on the tails of a new renaissance
of Shakespeare and Donne
and species of fun
all promptly shot down by a glance

--> To lift the mockery the highest, consider:
The Stuarts threw orgies "en France"
which would also improve the rhyme, though it would kill the finale.

from the aspect of Oliver Cromwell.
The Hanovers did not salaam well;
though failing to read
their Edward Said
they studied the maps of Assam well.

-->The mention of Said is fun, but the rest of this stanza doesn't hang together very well for me, but that could be insufficient knowledge of this point of history on my part.

Subalterns now seek to repugn
the cutaneous damages done
in the glare of the glorious
reign of Victoria’s
halcyon day in the sun.

-->somehow I like glorious and Victoria’s

The Edwards grew limper and limper.
Elizabeth worked on her simper.
A poet once sang
that what starts with a bang
will go out in a definite whimper.

-->Although I wouldn't call Eliot's voice "singing", I dig the reference.

Hope this helps.
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  #5  
Unread 08-26-2019, 08:14 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Walter,

Quote:
I told myself I would stop writing poems like this, but
Resist that inner voice! This is great, clever, acidic fun.

So this is a limerick romp through the 'Kings and Queens of England' from William the Conqueror to the current Queen, with the focus (mainly) on their Empire building and colonialism. Sometimes that doesn't quite seem the focus, like with the third one about the Stuarts, but then I suppose the link is that the Ottoman Empire was instrumental in the Renaissance, so the English monarchy is riding 'on the tails' of that — taking, or appropriating, from 'the East' after attempting to conquer and subjugate it. Is that close?

You enjamb between stanzas from 3 to 4, which threw me on my first couple of reads. Sloppy reading perhaps, but I suppose as a reader I'm so used to limericks being discrete units that my eye just slid over the lack of punctuation and capitalisation between the two. Once it clicked I liked it and I think the pause there could be fun in performance. In fact the feminine endings make this my favourite, I think, because I just like feminine endings in limericks and the rhymes are great here.

Really enjoyed it.

Edit: can you link to the missing one, somehow? Your note made me smile and I wondered for a second if you were pulling our collective leg. But knowing your stuff I have no doubt of the stanza's existence as you describe.
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  #6  
Unread 08-27-2019, 12:37 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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This is well done, though a string of limericks doesn’t appeal to me. I find the repetitive rhythm monotonous in large doses.

Much enjoyed the rhymes and the proper names worked in.

A couple of questions:

At the beginning, “off of their list” definitely is not idiomatic for me, so the “of” feels like padding.

At the end, maybe “what might be a bang / ends up as less than a whimper”? That would echo the Eliot quote more closely, though maybe you wanted just that effect of playing with the context of “bang.” "Definite" seems like padding.
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  #7  
Unread 08-28-2019, 10:10 AM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McDonnell View Post
Resist that inner voice! This is great, clever, acidic fun.
Mark, I say it is because, while not exactly easy to write, these sorts of erudite "light verse" poems come naturally and I have been of late more interested in other paths. But some lines of this are old and if I didn’t finish them they would have nagged me forever.

You are right to note the theme of imperialism throughout. The amount of limericks in support of Palestine are probably zero. Light Quarterly publishes those poems-of-the-week things that often respond to the news, but they are always liberal rather than leftist, by which I mean anti-imperalist, anti-capitalist, and anti-Zionist (if we define anti-Zionism to mean opposition to Palestinian oppression and displacement as justified by Israeli nationalism). So limericks with social commentary, though I wonder if I did it better in this poem, which takes the same form. Maybe I will send it to Light.

I really do have a rough sketch of the third stanza, but Daniel's comment gave me the idea writing a footnote as a limerick but with the line breaks removed. Yet I did want a doodle in my house doodles.

John, unfortunately I think you are right about "repugn." It was listed as an -un rhyme on Rhyme Zone, so I thought there might exist various pronunciations (of a word I've never heard anyone say out loud). Well I might leave it in anyway.

Andrew, thanks. "off of" and "off" are both idiomatic, though the latter is far more common and the former is newer. The line sounds fine without the preposition, so I may go with that one.

You are right to point out the weak spot in "definitive." What I want is a stiff-upper-lip kind of word that evokes how I imagine the whimper to be expressed, a parody of how the rest of the world imagines British manners.

Thanks, everyone!
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  #8  
Unread 08-28-2019, 02:03 PM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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This is very good. It's great to see the Limerick turned to such a purpose. There is a playfulness in the connection of form to content that gives it a special boost.
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  #9  
Unread 08-28-2019, 06:41 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hey Walter,

I remember that poem you link to, and the googling it caused me, very well! It's wonderful and I'm so glad to see it again. I say, if these things come naturally keep writing 'em. I imagine they are enjoyable to write, in a tricksy sort of way, and I'm sure they will only fuel rather than stifle other kinds of stuff.

A thought, easily dismissable: what about 'well-mannered' for 'definite; on the final line? It alliterates nicely!
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  #10  
Unread 08-28-2019, 09:54 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is online now
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All politics aside (Combinatorix and Alligatorix as friends of Vercingatorix and Asterix), if you can fix the “repugn” rhyme problem, this will become one elegant graffito.
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