"Drunk Warrior and Court Jester" by Casimiro TombaTurn a Famous Poem into a Limerick: Poetry Challenge The Society July 11, 2021 Humor, Limerick, Poetry, Poetry Contests 137 Comments . Choose a famous poem and write it in limerick form, putting the title of the original poem at the top. Please fit your chosen poem into one limerick (five lines) only. See “How to Write a Limerick.” Post your limerick in the comments section below. See examples: . Nothing Gold Can Stay (Frost) The first green of nature is gold. The hardest of colors to hold. Her new leaf is a flower, Bright and bold for an hour Till the winter, the Frost and the cold. —Mike Bryant . . Still I Rise (Angelou) Oil pumps and then wells in my eyes. Diamonds meet at the top of my thighs. I have no room for gloom; To the moon with all doom. Like the hot air in lies, I will rise! —Susan Jarvis Bryant . . 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Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 137 Responses Joe Tessitore July 11, 2021 “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost So there once was a woods that I knew And its owner I knew about too. On a cold, snowy night, Such a beautiful sight To behold as my fingers turned blue. Reply Bruce E. Wren July 11, 2021 Excellent! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Perfect! Reply Eric Jurien July 12, 2021 “This be the Verse” By Philip Larkin Your parents they fuck up your head, And so life is bleak till your dead, Fuck only fun, Begetting no-one, While the saracen takes over instead. Reply Patricia Redfern July 13, 2021 Made me laugh!love this one. It’s so light and uncensored! You kill me! Thanks! Peter Tardiff July 11, 2021 Bantams in Pine Woods (Stevens) Fat! Fat! Fat! Fat! Portly poet in a henna hat! Chief of Azcan, Flee if you can! My world is me and that’s that! Reply Bruce E. Wren July 11, 2021 My Candle Burns at Both Ends (Edna St. Vincent Millay) Consuming so quickly my candle From both ends, it causes a scandal To friend and to foe, But oh, what a glow, Like music from George Fredrick Handel! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Giggle-inducingly beautiful. Reply Janice Canerdy July 23, 2021 Expressive! Good one. Reply Dedee Shattuck July 11, 2021 Ithaca (Cavafy) I wandered and tasted the wine Then searched for a place to dine The doors were all locked ‘Cuz past eight o’clock It’s Boston in sixty-nine Reply C.B. Anderson July 12, 2021 How is it, Dedee, that you know about the old Boston blue laws? The only reason they were revoked was that the politicians knew that they could collect more taxes that way. Reply Dorothy Shattuck July 14, 2021 I didn’t know the reason for the 8 o’clock closings. I recall the only places to eat were Jake Wirth’s and Athen’s Olympia in the theater district. Then in the 70’s, Cafe Florian on Newbury for a sandwich. Blue laws……I’m wistful for their return, especially a Sabbath, whatever day one chooses. Anna J Arredondo July 11, 2021 “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe It was midnight; I felt really sleepy. As I longed for Lenore I got weepy. Then along a bird fluttered, “Nevermore” — all it uttered. I’ve got company now — but it’s creepy. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Spookily hilarious! I love it! Reply Dave Whippman July 12, 2021 Oddly, I thought of The Raven as a subject myself, but I couldn’t have matched this! Great stuff. Reply C.B. Anderson July 12, 2021 Funny. Reply Janice Canerdy July 23, 2021 LOVE it. LOL! Reply Paul Freeman July 11, 2021 Daffodils (Wordsworth) I wandered alone like a cloud, seeing daffodils all in a crowd. And now if Life glowers, with thoughts of those flowers, my inner eye’s suitably wowed. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Cleverly crafted. Well done! Reply Jay Gold July 11, 2021 This Is Just To Say I’ve eaten the plums in the fridge. I saved you not even a smidge. They weren’t too old, So sweet and so cold. Forgive me, but they were delish. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Limerick plums with aplomb! I love em! Reply Janice Canerdy July 23, 2021 Good one! They begged to be eaten. Reply Cynthia Erlandson July 11, 2021 While the evening spreads out in the skies, Let us look for the man in disguise Etherized on a table. If anyone’s able To see him, I’ll sure be surprised. Reply Cynthia Erlandson July 11, 2021 Sorry — that was from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Cynthia, I love yours and you have inspired me. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (T.S. Eliot) I beseech you, go eat a ripe peach. Michelangelo’s art’s out of reach. Ladies come and they go And all those in the know Know coffee won’t measure life’s breach. Anna J Arredondo July 11, 2021 “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams On this wheelbarrow so much depends, Planted there by the foraging hens, ….. And its brilliant red hue ….. Shines especially true When it’s glazed with the rain that descends. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Anna, this is better than the original! Superb! Reply Cynthia Erlandson July 12, 2021 I totally agree! Williams could learn a bit about meter from Anna! (Oh — and thanks for your comment on my Prufrock, Susan. Yours is great!) Kathy Bahr July 11, 2021 spot on. Reply Jack DesBois July 12, 2021 Anna, you beat me to it: so much on this barrow depends it’s fiery with fair weather friends but when there’s foul weather it’s flocked by a feather of dover cliff hue, on chickens Reply Cynthia Erlandson July 12, 2021 Yours deserves to be more famous than Williams’, in my opinion! Reply Anna J Arredondo July 12, 2021 Thanks for the encouraging feedback! (Jack, I like your rendition as well) Interestingly enough, I wrote a sonnet spinoff on The Red Wheelbarrow a couple of months ago, when my husband decided to purchase us a yellow wheelbarrow, though my heart had been set on red (in part because of Williams’ poem). Maybe I should submit it here to SCP… C.B. Anderson July 13, 2021 This is particularly good because you have shown possibly the most overrated poem of the twentieth century to be what it really is. And your short lines, ending hue/true are superbly anapestic. Reply Sandi Christie July 11, 2021 Caged Bird (Maya Angelou) A bird in a cage cannot sing In a country where freedom can’t ring. Though you tweet and you tweet, All your tweets they delete— They assure you can’t say anything. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 11, 2021 Sandi, you have taken this challenge to new heights in a limerick that packs one helluva punch on the cancel-culture front. Wonderful! Reply Sandi Christie July 11, 2021 Thank you master-poet-extraordinaire! These little challenges are always a hoot to read! Joe Tessitore July 12, 2021 Indeed! Cynthia Erlandson July 12, 2021 Brilliant! Reply Anna J Arredondo July 12, 2021 Yes, brilliant! Reply Paul Fontana July 11, 2021 In Verona, where we lay our scene, Civil blood makes the folk’s hands unclean. R and J took their lives And it ended their strifes. R was sixteen and J was thirteen. Reply Janice Canerdy July 23, 2021 An accomplished one–very expressive. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 11, 2021 Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae (Dowson) To forget you, I took out some money And hired an out-of-work Bunny. Her kisses were warm But I couldn’t perform, So I guess I’ve been faithful, my honey. Reply Mike Bryant July 11, 2021 That sounds like Dowson alright! Reply Sandi Christie July 12, 2021 You are a funny and talented man; it certainly would have been interesting being one of your students. Reply Will Dunn July 11, 2021 Ode On a Grecian Urn Though you’re empty there’s value untold in the beauty of story on hold. It’s the truth that you speak, though it comes across Greek, about being but not seeming old. Reply Sandi Christie July 12, 2021 Very clever! Reply Will Dunn July 13, 2021 Thanks! Kathy Bahr July 11, 2021 Summer Showers by Emily Dickinson A drop fell on the apple tree, That went to help bathe the sea. The sunshine threw fete hung, Were the birds Jocoser sung. The breezes brought the birds bathed in glee. Reply Ishika Jain July 12, 2021 This is nice! Reply JD July 11, 2021 Trees – Joyce Kilmer The tree I see It comforts me It aids It shades Reminds me that He died for me Reply Ishika Jain July 12, 2021 ‘Dust of Snow’ of Sir Robert Frost. … Dust of Snow Amidst these shivering trees, I stood still, becoming freeze, Reciting winter’s tale; Making my body temper curtail, O, dust of snow in the frozen breeze. Reply Kathy Bahr July 12, 2021 Time standstill, nice word choice. Reply Peter Hartley July 12, 2021 Not Waving but Drowning, Stevie Smith It wasn’t my arms I was waving, you cretin. No deeper my head could I get in. Do you think I would crave Your attention and wave, My head in the bag of cement it was set in? Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 12, 2021 Hilarity meets Stevie Smith poetry to produce a poem that speaks of immortartality with a wry nod to concrete poetry – I expect nothing less from a poet who has concrete ideals in this age of fixed ideas and ideals. Very well done, indeed! Reply ray boyd July 12, 2021 i wanna do cadged bird … can i? … can i imagining that i had wings and owned the divine right of kings i mewled and i whined, the antifa kind, for elephants on children’s swings. Reply Joe Tessitore July 12, 2021 “Hickory, Dickory, Dock” by Tommy Thumb Let us look at this rhyme and take stock. It has something to do with a clock In an animal house With an up-running mouse … What the hell is a dickory dock? Reply Cynthia Erlandson July 12, 2021 Very funny! Reply Sandi Christie July 12, 2021 Yes it is! Janice Canerdy July 23, 2021 LOVE IT! LOL Reply ray July 12, 2021 Sympathy Paul Lawrence Dunbar Oh such anthropomorphisings Open the door when a caged bird sings caged bird will not flee. They love where food is free. Ignore all exit openings. Reply Kathy Bahr July 12, 2021 Wonderful word play Reply C.B. Anderson July 13, 2021 It had everything but the proper anapestic (or, possibly, amphibrachic) meter. Learn hat a limerick actually is. Reply ray July 13, 2021 Oh okay then … If I must… When anthropomorphisings sing, They seem to regret where they cling. They batter at bars. Scream out to the stars. While Maya writes down everything. Joseph S. Salemi July 12, 2021 Old Ironsides (Holmes) The ship’s an unseaworthy bucket And Congress just wants us to chuck it. But in view of her fame That would be a damned shame — Let her sink in a squall off Nantucket. Reply Bruce Wren July 12, 2021 Perfectly done, and great innovative rhymes! Reply C.B. Anderson July 13, 2021 There is a rather famous limerick with “Nantucket” as a rhyme-word in the longer lines, but somehow Joseph has managed to avoid the original “fuck it.” Joe Tessitore July 12, 2021 They’re capable of anything, and nothing should surprise us at this point. Reply Dave Whippman July 12, 2021 Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” “Let’s capture those guns!” Raglan said. The cavalry charged on ahead. The battle was gory – They won fame and glory But most of them ended up dead. Reply Paul Freeman July 12, 2021 Fabulous! Reply David Whippman July 12, 2021 Thanks Paul. Jeff Eardley July 12, 2021 Brilliant! Reply Mike Bryant July 12, 2021 I am loving this one, Jeff. When is the funeral? And what’s the dress code for a toad? David Whippman July 12, 2021 Thank you Jeff. Peter Hartley July 13, 2021 In Leek the toad is extinct But for tyre-marks most indistinct. A miserable morkin, Too bald for a merkin, If only poor Jeff hadn’t blinked. Sandi Christie July 12, 2021 Clever in its irony! Reply David Whippman July 12, 2021 Thanks Sandi. Mia July 12, 2021 T S Elliot Animula There once was a heavenly boy Who was born full of life and joy, As time passed his troubles grew, His teeth fell out and his smile went south -the poor misguided, lonely trout. Reply C.B. Anderson July 13, 2021 This is not a limerick of any sort at all. Reply Mia July 13, 2021 Oh okay. Thank you for the feedback I am not happy with the third line but I thought the others conformed. Are you familiar with the poem. it is one of my favourites and I am rather sad that I have condensed it to that. But I think it fits. Mia July 13, 2021 revised version-marginally better perhaps There once was a heavenly boy Born on earth full of life and joy When he grew His troubles did too So sad about the boy Thank you Mr CB Anderson I think finally I have learned not to post in haste Reply Jeff Eardley July 12, 2021 “Toads” by Philip Larkin With sadness I’m writing this ode, On the death of a big, slimy toad. For he got in the way, Of my bike yesterday, Now he’s splattered all over the road. Reply Bruce Wren July 12, 2021 Ha! Excellent! Reply Joe Tessitore July 12, 2021 I agree! Sandi Christie July 12, 2021 Very funny! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 12, 2021 Hilarious! Is the toad in the hole? I hope you gave him a good send off! 😉 Reply Kathy Bahr July 13, 2021 leap of joy and you’ve become the toad.. Reply Peter Hartley July 13, 2021 Sheer brilliance, this one, and almost worth mashing the toad for. Reply Peter Hartley July 13, 2021 As president of the Batrachophiliac Society (perverts, the lot of them), established in 1910, I must protest most vehemently at the impetuous levity with which the demise of Mr Toad has been treated in your column. I didn’t join SCP to read this sort of bilge (I thought it was the RSPCA). Reply Mike Bryant July 13, 2021 A short promenade down the road, As reveries lazily flowed. Did he hear a croak? Too late for the bloke, The pavement, the shoes and the toad. Reply Julian D. Woodruff July 12, 2021 Now is the winter Tewkesbury gave the Lancastrians what for. Now with Edward, sprawled out on the floor, Is some wench who admires Him, whose passion he fires. As for me, it’s his crown I adore. Sea surface full of clouds / Stevens As Tehuantepec’s shores I passed by, I gazed down (being bored with the sky). “So the sea’s blue,” I thought, “… then again, maybe not.” In five cantos I’ll tell you just why. Ah, vous dirai-je Mommy dear, I have just this to say: I am fraught by the end of the day. Dad insists that I think. He will drive me to drink, But with candy I shan’t go astray. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 12, 2021 Ozymandias (Shelley) A statue of some royal jerk Lies smashed in the sand, with a smirk. Whoever he was, He’s forgotten, becuz There ain’t nothin’ left of his work. Reply Mike Bryant July 12, 2021 I don’t think you left out a single thought from the original… Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 12, 2021 Jest at its best. Reply David Whippman July 12, 2021 You got all the philosophy of the original poem, with some humour thrown in! Reply Paul Freeman July 13, 2021 The irony is just as thick as the original. Great stuff. Reply Will Dunn July 12, 2021 The Highwayman To the pride of a landlord of yore rode a seeker of riches galore. Though he treasured her heart, they would be torn apart by the gold to be stolen worth more. Reply Jeff Eardley July 12, 2021 “Toads re-visited” by Philip Larkin To the family of poor Mr. Toad, An apology surely is owed. So I’ll start in the morn, To collect all the spawn, And then render my bath their abode. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 12, 2021 A bathtub’s no place for large shoals Of mournful and morphing tadpoles An orphan amphibian Prefers the Caribbean That’s why tubs are blessed with plugholes. 🙂 Reply Jeff Eardley July 13, 2021 The funeral of Toad of Toad Hall, Was a slimy affair I recall. All the laughter and croaks, From his family and folks, Who turned up for the day, warts and all. Jeff Eardley July 13, 2021 Susan, amphibian rhyming with Caribbean at first glance is just so dreadful. Later, it becomes genius. Love it. Susan Jarvis Bryant July 14, 2021 Jeff, that’s so funny. I went with the American pronunciation of ‘Caribbean’… without even giving it a second thought. I’ve been away from the UK for too long! lol David Watt July 13, 2021 Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll It was brillig (whatever that is) When a lad with a sword said “Gee whizz! If I bring back the head Of a Jabberwock dead There’ll be callays, calloohs, and free fizz!” Reply Anna J Arredondo July 13, 2021 David, I love it! Jabberwocky is a favorite of mine, and one of the first I considered transforming, but I got stuck and moved on. I’m so happy to read your version. Reply David Watt July 14, 2021 Thank you Anna. The inventive language in Jabberwocky is what appeals to me most. Charles Dodgson’s ‘chortle’ has made it into common usage. ‘Brillig’ never quite caught on. Jeff Eardley July 13, 2021 David, love this one, thank you for a good laugh. Reply David Watt July 14, 2021 Thanks Jeff, your toad limericks are also very funny. A toad funeral as a ‘slimy affair’ is my favourite mental picture. Susan Jarvis Bryant July 14, 2021 David, this is a brillig limerick! All galumph and no whiffle – a chortle-worthy wonder that’s brightened my mimsy day and has the recesses of my brain outgrabing for more of this joy in this fruminous world of bandersnatches. Reply Toshiji Kawagoe July 13, 2021 “The Fly” by William Blake Little fly its thoughtless play did spoil my sport and put my face in night soil, when I drank on the street and sang a song upbeat. If you please, brush my hair with sweet oil? Reply Lucia Haase July 13, 2021 Inspired by ‘To A Butterfly’ by William Wordsworth Oh butterfly, lovely to see I’m so glad that you’re not a bee that comes ’round with a buzz as a bee always does… a sting would be too much for me! Reply Lucia Haase July 13, 2021 Also, not particularly funny but inspired by another Wordsworth poem…”A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal.” Midst the rocks and the stones and trees there is Light in the peace of the breeze and a mood of no fear on this ancient earth here where the willows bend down on their knees. Reply Camilla Marx July 23, 2021 I love this!! James A. Tweedie July 13, 2021 William Shakespeare Sonnet 130 “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” My mistress is unlike the sun; Her skin is the color of dun. Though dark be her features, Of all of God’s creatures Her beauty is second to none. Reply James A. Tweedie July 13, 2021 “Molly Malone” Irish Traditional With a tip of the hat to the late great Allan Sherman Sweet Molly Malone wheeled her barrow Through streets not too broad but too narrow. Her hips were so wide They scraped on each side And squeezed her as thin as an arrow. Reply Peter Hartley July 13, 2021 James – This one is brilliant and had me whistling the tune as I read it (I should mention I have an exceedingly mellifluous whistle). Reply Jeff Eardley July 13, 2021 Great tribute to the “Tart with a heart” ….how about one for “The Floozie in the Jacuzzi?” Reply James A. Tweedie July 13, 2021 Inferno Dante Alighieri From Canto III A poet named Dante attended A Hell-tour James Sale recommended. Abandoning hope He slid down the slope And wrote it all down when it ended. Reply James Sale July 14, 2021 There are many fine limericks here, James, but indubitably yours – this one – is the masterpiece! If you go to Florence now, you will certainly obtain the laurel that Dante failed to win – only covid-19 stands in your way!!! Reply ROYAL W RHODES July 13, 2021 AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE (Blake) The World’s a mere Grain of the Sand, more vast than the seashore’s broad strand. And Heaven’s a flower each Infinite hour, while Galaxies fit in my hand. — Royal Rhodes Reply Paul Freeman July 13, 2021 The Cat in the Hat (Abridged and Uncensored) A cat in a hat made a mess, putting two kids at home under stress. Then the cat pulled some strings and enlisting two Things cleaned the house in a minute or less. Reply Joseph S. Salemi July 14, 2021 IF.. (Rudyard Kipling) If you straddle both sides of the fence, And pose as a man of good sense, You’ll likely grow rich, You damned son-of-a-bitch, Even though you are stupid and dense. Reply BDW July 15, 2021 My favourite poem to limerick(s) is Wendy Cope’s “The Wasteland”: The Waste Land: Five Limericks I In April one seldom feels cheerful; Dry stones, sun and dust make me fearful; Clairvoyantes distress me, Commuters depress me– Met Stetson and gave him an earful. II She sat on a mighty fine chair, Sparks flew as she tidied her hair; She asks many questions, I make few suggestions– Bad as Albert and Lil–what a pair! III The Thames runs, bones rattle, rats creep; Tiresias fancies a peep– A typist is laid, A record is played– Wei la la. After this it gets deep. IV A Phoenician named Phlebas forgot About birds and his business–the lot, Which is no surprise, Since he’d met his demise And been left in the ocean to rot. V No water. Dry rocks and dry throats, Then thunder, a shower of quotes From the Sanskrit and Dante. Da. Damyata. Shantih. I hope you’ll make sense of the notes. Reply Mia July 15, 2021 The Lady Of Shalott She was a lady of leisure and he a man of truth when she saw him she swooned and expired for good measure Reply Paul Freeman July 16, 2021 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner The crew deemed their shipmate a turd o’er an albatross, shot, so they heard with the old sailor’s bow, causing ill-fortune, so they collectively gave him the bird. Reply Jeff Eardley July 16, 2021 Bullseye Paul, love this one. Reply Roy E. Peterson July 16, 2021 Hickory, Dickory, Dock (Nursery Rhyme) Inspired by the previous posting of Joe Tessitore and an old joke. Hickory, Dickory, Dock. Two mice ran up the clock. The clock struck one And then he was done. The other one died from the shock. Reply Kathy Bahr July 16, 2021 Funny oh could’ve been growing old with the rhyme. Reply Roy E. Peterson July 17, 2021 Thank you, Kathy! Camilla Marx July 21, 2021 Jabberwocky A youth of uncertain location Once vanquished a beast of predation. His torturous time Was captured in rhyme. Narration/ translation/ truncation Reply Paul Freeman July 21, 2021 Dick and Jane: Book 1 We already knew ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, and probably ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’. But then we learned ‘dog’, which was followed by ‘frog’, and some pronouns like ‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘we’. Reply Mike Mikesell July 21, 2021 The Road Less Traveled by Robert Frost I looked at two roads in a wood deciding which one was more good Since on one had trod more of the travelers before On the lesser I felt that I should Reply Janice Canerdy July 23, 2021 “One Perfect Rose” Dorothy Parker Roses Wilt; Limos Don’t Classy gent! He sent one perfect rose. At the moment it pleases my nose. A big luxury car would be better by far. Is a Benz en route? I don’t suppose! Reply Talbot July 23, 2021 “Ebb” by Edna St. Vincent Millay I know how my heart now appears, Since your love went away with the years: It’s a pool in a ledge Drying in from the edge, That can never be quickened with tears. Reply Sally Cook July 24, 2021 From Emily Dickinson’s I taste a liquor never brewed I taste a liquor never brewed Gulp it by glassful. In a mood, Sip like iced tea By a crystal blue sea An inveterate tippler – that’s me !. Reply Mia July 27, 2021 A limerick of sorts; If you take the road not taken, and walk in beauty like the night, knocking on silent doors, you may find in time that the road left behind, was the right! Reply Mantz Yorke August 1, 2021 Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (Gray) There was a young poet called Gray who wrote in a churchyard all day till the ploughman was spent, the cows homeward went, and the bell tolled the end of the day. Reply Kathy Bahr August 1, 2021 really enjoyed your last line. Reply Robert Fawcett August 1, 2021 The Congo. Large black men ensconced in a room Held handles removed from a broom. On barrels they beat Keeping time with their feet. Making sounds:boomlay boom, boomlay boom. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.