In 2015, there was a brief craze of converting great poems into limericks. Over at Making Light (any of the date links will take you to it), I joined in for a couple of hours one night, and then added a little bit more to the pile the next morning. I realized today that I should put those here on my own web-log, for reasons.
Tichborne's Elegy [Tichborne] [monosyllabic redrafting 20180706]
My prime of youth’s no thing but cares,
And my corn field is choked up with tares.
Found my death in my womb.
All the earth is a tomb,
And my life’s but false hopes and mean snares.
My Last Duchess [Browning]
See? my wife’s portrait painter was skilled,
And with telling detail the work’s filled.
But her temper was such
That she smiled far too much,
So that’s why I had the dame killed.
Ariel’s Farewell [Shakespeare]
Our revels are ended. The score,
The towers, and globe, are no more.
We’re naught but the shade
Out of which dreams are made
And we round our wee lives with a snore.
Lessons of the War [Reed]
Nature’s bounty calls out to our hearts
With the lure of lewd beckoning tarts,
The Japonica twines…
But the carbine’s clip shines
For today we have naming of parts
Spoon River Anthology [Masters]
We’re the dead folk asleep on the hill,
Of our life's substance freely we spill.
Some were victims, some kind,
Some were evil defined.
All are grist for the moralist’s mill.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam [FitzGerald]
As the sun's rays light turrets at dawn
We’re fresh vessels, fired up to go on.
Freshly crafted and fine,
Filled with promise and wine,
Yet by night, we’re all drunk, and then gone.
To His Coy Mistress [Marvell]
Had we more time and space at our call,
I’d not mind your reluctance at all,
But you might die a maid,
And I’ll never get laid!
Best we drop this demureness and ball.
The Listeners [de la Mare]
The Traveler called out at the door
That his promise he’d kept, as he’d swore,
Till unanswered, bereft,
He grew weary and left
Just our silence behind him, no more.
Fire and Ice [Sandburg]
So some say earth will finish in ice,
While some others say fire’s just as nice.
What I know of desire
Makes me lean toward the fire,
Or perhaps some atomic device.
There once was a man who said, "Hark!
Did Jesus set foot in this park?
Did he once tread green hills
Where are now mostly mills
That are British, satanic, and dark?"
Edward [Anonymous ballad]
“O Edward, my son, do you bleed?”
“No, I just killed my hawk. …No, my steed.
Well, in truth, I killed Dad.”
“O my son! Why so bad?”
“You should know! Your damned words did I heed!”
Green Eggs and Ham [Geisel, aka Seuss]
“I am Sam! Have some green eggs and ham!”
“For your foodstuff, I don’t give a clam!
I’d not eat them here, there,
On the sea, ground, or air…
…Hm, no: wait. These are great! Thank you, Sam!”
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