This book. Oh, this book. I’ve read several collections of “humorous” verse – on the whole I find the genre disappointing. But Laughable Limericks is pure gold.
Don’t know what a limerick is? It’s a particular form of verse that follows a distinct rhyme and rhythm pattern. I’ll type up one of the verses as an example.
There once was a pious young priest
Who lived almost wholly on yeast;
“For,” he said, “it is plain
We must all rise again,
And I want to get started, at least.”
So you see, there are five lines which follow the rhyming scheme, A-A-B-B-A. The first two lines consist of eight syllables each, the second set of lines is six syllables each, and then the last line is typically eight or nine syllables. (In this case, nine.)
Apart from the actual structural distinctive, one thing that can always be said of a limerick is that it is funny. If a limerick fails at this test, it matters not how perfectly structured it is – it has missed the point of limerick-hood. In Laughable Limericks, none missed the point.
One of the poems features a line (meant to rhyme with pelican) that goes like this. “But I’m darned if I see how the helican.” [pg. 4] We see what you did there. Later, ‘gee’ is used.
One poem comically treats a kiss. [pg. 123]
One of the limericks tells of a cat who had to be hit by nine cars to commit suicide. It’s supposed to be humorous, but it’s not my favorite idea. [pg. 20] Another, when asking a series of questions about a certain man asks, “Does he beat his wife with a gold-topped pipe, when she lets the gooseberries grow too ripe?” [pg. 55]
One poems is about a skeleton and a ghost who tried to out-frighten each other. [pg. 66]
On page 128, the story is told of two children who both grew to be as tall as trees.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret