400 Limericks and Winner of the Week

Nov 27, 2013

We got more than 400 limericks in response to last week's Question of the Week. Below are the winners.

 

Click here to see all 400 entries.

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1st Place: Ken Lucus
There are those who'll go nowhere near it

But I see no reason to fear it.

The question going around:

Does a Big Bang make a sound

If no ear has evolved yet to hear it?

 

2nd Place: Susan Rappoport
For Dawkins so loved the Universe's glory

Animals, mountains, cells and aurorae.

He lays truths on the table

with no need for fable

So we see our right place in the story.

 

3rd Place: John Christian
Our Richard had an appetite for wonder,
The bigger questions he did often ponder.
To the pious in his way
He can't help but to say
"Of Science, bitches, I am fonder"

Written By: RDFRS
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20 comments on “400 Limericks and Winner of the Week

  • 2
    philmchale says:

    I like the intent of the winner, but it’s not a Limerick. Sorry to be pedantic, but the syllable count in a Limerick is 9, 9, 6, 6, 9 and Ken’s is 9, 9, 6, 7, 10, and it just doesn’t trip off the tongue.



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  • In reply to #2 by philmchale:

    I like the intent of the winner, but it’s not a Limerick. Sorry to be pedantic, but the syllable count in a Limerick is 9, 9, 6, 6, 9 and Ken’s is 9, 9, 6, 7, 10, and it just doesn’t trip off the tongue.

    I have to agree completely. Limericks are not free-form couplets. The prosody and meter matter. From Wikipedia:

    “A limerick is a short, humorous, often ribald or nonsense poem,[1] especially one in five-line anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA)”

    I’ve been trying hard to come up with something clever, and now I see that you didn’t really mean “limerick” at all. I would expect Dr. Dawkins knows exactly what a limerick is and is not, so let’s not disappoint him!



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  • 4
    zeerust2000 says:

    philmchale #2
    I like the intent of the winner, but it’s not a Limerick. Sorry to be pedantic, but the syllable count in a Limerick is 9, 9, 6, 6, 9 and Ken’s is 9, 9, 6, 7, 10, and it just doesn’t trip off the tongue.

    As much as I admire the winning entries for their wit and humour, I have to agree. None of them are, strictly speaking, true limericks. Philmchale is right, but I would add that the first syllable should be an anacrusis ( a musical term meaning an upbeat, or note before the principle downbeat). I know this sounds pedantic, but part of the cleverness and charm of limericks lies in being able to cast your ideas in the form of this linguistic straightjacket. Indeed it is the point of a limerick. But hey, kudos to the winners for their creativeness, and I apologise for my pedantry. 🙂



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  • 6
    SaganTheCat says:

    In reply to #2 by philmchale:

    I like the intent of the winner, but it’s not a Limerick. Sorry to be pedantic, but the syllable count in a Limerick is 9, 9, 6, 6, 9 and Ken’s is 9, 9, 6, 7, 10, and it just doesn’t trip off the tongue.

    never apologise for being pedantic



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  • 7
    stephenwade says:

    Whoa! Let us all go back to day one of the Limerick contest and the rule maker stating something about the proper format for submitted entries. I believe incorrect entries were to be rejected outright.



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  • 9
    Steve41oo says:

    A Muslim a Christian and Jew
    Sat down to exchange all they knew
    For ten minutes no sound
    As they passed their books round
    Until fighting re started anew.



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  • 10
    zeerust2000 says:

    Steve41oo comment #9

    A Muslim a Christian and Jew
    Sat down to exchange all they knew
    For ten minutes no sound
    As they passed their books round
    Until fighting re started anew.

    This one ticks all the boxes:)



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  • 12
    quarecuss says:

    At the risk of sounding pedantic
    These limericks, footless and frantic
    Don’t trip off the tongue
    They couldn’t be sung
    Their syllable count is gigantic.



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  • 13
    Papalinton says:

    In reply to #4 by zeerust2000:

    philmchale #2
    I like the intent of the winner, but it’s not a Limerick.

    I always thought a true Limerick was one born in county Limerick. 🙂



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  • 15
    Stephen of Wimbledon says:

    Many fine rhymes here appealed

    Now the judges’ decision revealed

    Rhyming couplets we see

    Without any flea

    The winners supplied the ideal.



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  • Ok, I’ve been struggling. Here’s my best so far. I’ve emphasized the stresses.

    a LEARN-ed old CODger nam'd DICK
    said cre-A-tion-ists TEND to be THICK
    what they THINK that they KNOW
    won’t HELP them to GROW
    InDEED: they eVOLVE like a BRICK!
    

    Now, in my book you can mush with the syllable count a bit provided you to it on the leading and trailing unstressed syllables on each line. Other pedants may disagree. You’ll note that the stresses like up nicely, and it trips off the tongue.

    This one is not as good; still a work in progress.

    e-VOLV-ing a CREA-ture like DAW-kins
    an UN-like-ly PROSpect for HAWK-in'
    but what GOD would creATE
    a HEATHen preLATE
    WITH ev-i-DEN-ciar-y LOCK-in
    

    And finally, one of my old favourites. Note that the syllable counts do not quite match (like mine), but it works.

    from the depths of the crypt at St Giles
    came a scream which resounded for miles
    said the vicar "Good Gracious!
    has Father Ignacius
    forgotten the bishop has piles?"
    



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  • 17
    zeerust2000 says:

    In reply to #16 by prak:

    Ok, I’ve been struggling. Here’s my best so far. I’ve emphasized the stresses.

    a LEARN-ed old CODger nam’d DICK
    said cre-A-tion-ists TEND to be THICK
    what they THINK that they KNOW
    won’t HELP them to GROW
    InDEED: they eVOLVE like a BRICK!

    It’s not just about syllable count, it’s about metre (in the musical sense). Prak has hit the nail on the head. It’s the accented syllables that matter. Lines 1,2 and 5 have three accents, lines 3 and 4 two accents. Each accent is the first beat of a 3-beat unit ( a ‘bar’, in musical terms). Add to that an anacrusis of one or two beats for each line and you have it. If the rhythms were written in musical notation it would be clear.
    For example, lines 1, 2 and 5 could be, say, 4 bars of 3/4 time each. Lines 3 and 4, 2 bars of 3/4 time each. Each beat can have one syllable, or occasionally two, but as long as the metre is preserved it doesn’t matter.



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  • 18
    susanlatimer says:

    For example, lines 1, 2 and 5 could be, say, 4 bars of 3/4 time each. Lines 3 and 4, 2 bars of 3/4 time each.

    I agree with everything… except that I’m pretty sure it’s 6/8 time. There’s a pickup note (usually) on the 6th beat of the measure.

    Each beat can have one syllable, or occasionally two, but as long as the metre is preserved it doesn’t matter.

    Yes. And if it isn’t, it really, really matters.



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  • 19
    zeerust2000 says:

    In reply to #18 by susanlatimer:

    For example, lines 1, 2 and 5 could be, say, 4 bars of 3/4 time each. Lines 3 and 4, 2 bars of 3/4 time each.

    I agree with everything… except that I’m pretty sure it’s 6/8 time. There’s a pickup note (usually) on the 6th beat of the measure.

    Each beat can have one syllable, or occasionally two…

    Yes, if I was actually writing the rhythm out I would use 6/8. I only used 3/4 as an example because it is simpler for non-musical readers. 🙂



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