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  #11  
Unread 04-08-2020, 07:54 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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I see a big problem if this chef eats at home. Drat drat drat. Need a better rhyme triplet, badly
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  #12  
Unread 04-08-2020, 10:24 PM
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Revision # 2 is a kludge fix. Still at work. Maybe be tomorrow will be better.
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  #13  
Unread 04-10-2020, 09:06 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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I hope this amuses you, Allen. The thread title brings a Rodgers and Hart song to mind:

The rhythmic jeer,
the comic veer,
the faint aroma of an Edward Lear,
the joyful laughter or the gleeful sneer.
I wish this were a limerick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Tice View Post
Could people tell me what are some soft spots that others might see?
IMO, a limerick needs to land with a punchline. If you're limericking the barber puzzle with a chef, maybe the joke is somewhere in the fact that cooking for oneself is so much easier than cutting one's own hair. Or maybe COVID-19--in forcing people to cut their own hair--is showing the fallacy that's always existed in the barber thing. Or maybe it's comically reinforced it by forcing us all to go around with horrible, self-done haircuts.

Also, in light verse, unlike other sorts of verse, the technical aspects need to sparkle. If the middle lines stay in the limerick, consider "cannot" for "can't" to smooth the rhythm and remove the illogical stress on "I." And do something about "just exactly," a redundancy that's there only to fill out the rhythm. "There's no doubt" is similar filler, but at least it's at the spot in the lim where it's least likely to impede the fun.
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  #14  
Unread 04-10-2020, 01:37 PM
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Thank you Max for your astute and full response. I agree with it in every respect. Truly. My chief problem right now is how to get the reflexive “for themselves” somehow to rhyme with a seductive chime that is terse. Brevity is a big challenge. Also I need a rhyme triplet that carries the load. A reflexive twist isn’t actually essential. If I can manage it, something else that captures the “and” + “or” or “nor” mutually exclusive logical boundaries that are the excuse for the limerick will do nicely. I was hoping that a night’s sleep might help. No further luck so far. It might take a while to pull this off successfully. Revision #2 came so easily that it seemed to good to be true, and it was! The logic is the payload in this. If you know set theory, there is something called “the empty set”, which is a beautiful vacuum. Chef Jacques, or whomever, must be cooked for by the empty set, and no one else. Cooking isn’t even a requirement, just an activity that doesn’t allow any loopholes.

Thanks also for the Lear reference. He’s been on my mind a lot with this. I think that I will have to let this aspirational limerick come into better focus when and if it will. Thanks also for everyone’s patience with my lurch toward perfection. I don’t usually get so self-indulgent as to post a blob like this has been. It started out as an embryo and now it has some shape, but not enough by far.

The “Russell” paradox has interested me since I don’t know when, and the “empty set” just as long. That set is amazing, and what one can do with nested empty sets is particularly awesome. But no one has ever seen an empty set. Like the larger and smaller infinities of mathematics, the empty set is a mental concept that is useful in that realm, but I don’t own even one empty set and never have as far as I know.
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  #15  
Unread 04-10-2020, 03:10 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Chef Jacques cooks for all who eat out,
And only for them, there’s no doubt.
What I can’t construe
Is exactly just who
Cooks for Jacques when he’s touring about.

I don't see the paradox here. If he cooks for all who eat out, then why not simply conclude that he also cooks for himself when he is eating out? Or, if he doesn't cook for himself, maybe when he's touring about he gets invited to someone's home and served a home-cooked meal?
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  #16  
Unread 04-10-2020, 05:15 PM
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Touché ! I was trying for a way to express not cooking for oneself at home. As I wrote just above, for some reason my critical standards ebbed in my sudden enthusiasm for Russell’s paradox. (Maybe Russell was fibbing about its being suggested by some anonymous person, maybe it was Whitehead.) Anyway, it’s pretty clear that I bit off more than I could chew (at present). As always and everywhere, I’m impressed by your cleverness and insight. And gentle response. Thanks for not pointing out the obvious in an unkind way, and stating that this was premature and that my extrusion here is the bumbling work of a bull chasing a red cape that conceals nothing.

So far.
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  #17  
Unread 04-10-2020, 09:57 PM
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Chef Jacques cooks for everybody in town, and only those, who do not cook for themselves. Who cooks for Jacques?

This is what I tried to imply in my revisions. The implications weren’t good enough yet. Let’s let this effort slide down the board until, and if, a better wording arrives. The desire and the target is there, the technology isn’t there yet. I’m pointing at the moon, but I haven’t yet touched it, so to speak. But I’m not giving up on this !!
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  #18  
Unread 04-11-2020, 06:30 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Chef Jacques cooks for all who're unable:
only these will he offer a table.
So the answer we lack,
is who cooks for Jacques.
In this fable, the logic's unstable.

Hmm, or maybe not quite. Perhaps he eats on the floor?

Last edited by Matt Q; 04-11-2020 at 10:41 AM.
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  #19  
Unread 04-11-2020, 08:00 AM
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Matt, what a delightful surprise to wake up here in New York to your post. I want to thank you for that new set of rhymes. They’re good, and are prompting bunches of thoughts that will swirl with me indefinitely. I tend more toward the idea of “unwilling.” Almost anyone can cook up something, even giant biscuits from a readymade biscuit mix. Not much variety there though, after two weeks of homemade Bisquick mountains and not much else. The logic touch at the end is especially good because it alerts the reader to what’s motivating the limerick, which is important, since without some clue like that, many, even friends of mine, might say (aloud or muttering), WTF, why is this worth the effort to read, Allen is OTT again and a pain in the rhetoric. Many thanks. I like it.

Best, Allen
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  #20  
Unread 04-11-2020, 08:32 AM
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Revision # 3 posted. It’s not elegant. I don’t like it much yet. Maybe it’s an improvement. The rhymes seem too vague and imprecise or slangy for a genuinely crunchy limerick. The game is still afoot, Watson.

Ahem: Mens sana in limerice sano.

Last edited by Allen Tice; 04-11-2020 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Trapeze act in Latin
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