“Ah, lit’rature! There’s nothing like sitting home nights with a fireplace, a dog and a good book at your feet!”
—Jimmy Durante (1893-1980), singer/literary critic, 1947 URL
• Editorial Comment: My dog can read me like a book.
• Rhyme This: Yesterday’s WORD challenged WORDsters to offer Mark Twain limericks. Here is some of the conversation:
There once was a fellow named Twain
Who had a remarkable brain,
He tried every genre,
But being so ornre
He never would write a refrain.
There once was a man named Twain
Who vowed that never again
Would he write any verse
Because it was worse
To readers than having a pain.
Ted Pease: As a deluded English major freshman at UWash in the 1970s, I had a class on DH Lawrence from a wonderful professor named Roger Sales. Annoyed by the usual stupid questions from students about the final paper, he sprayed coffee everywhere and shouted that he didn't give a good goddam what we did! Write limericks, for all I care!!!!! Well, you know the rest of the story. I did: limericks encapsulating each of the 12 or whatever novels we had read and dissected during the quarter. Wish I still had that paper.
But “gen-ree/orn-ree” would never have flown, Perfesser Pitkin. And Sparks is missing a syllable in the first line. Lessee....
A frowsy old writer called Clemens
Received his ideas from the heavens.
“If I call myself ‘twain,’
I’ll make readers insane,
And reviewers can all go suck lemons.”
But Roger Sales would never have accepted that.
There once was a writer named Clemens
Whose poems, he claimed, were all Lemons.
But with nom de plume Twain
His wit hits the brain
Like the cause of delirium tremens.
I bow to anyone who can use “delirium tremens” in a limerick. But all of us need to keep our day jobs.
• COMICS: You choose, Wise Guy! Bunny Honey or Hemp Horseman Sweat? Ted Pease gets bluffed on NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” Listen here.
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