"The Seven Deadly Sins" by Hieronymus Bosch‘Satan’s Limericks on the Seven Deadly Sins’ by Joseph S. Salemi The Society May 15, 2022 Culture, Humor, Limerick, Poetry 19 Comments . Satan’s Limericks on the Seven Deadly Sins Sepulchrum patens est guttur eorum; linguis suis dolose agebant: venenum aspidum sub labiis eorum. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they acted deceitfully: the poison of asps is under their lips. —Psalms 13:3 . Pride Be proud and aggressive and tough— Don’t take any backtalk or guff. Dream and aspire And hold your head higher To show that you’ve got the right stuff. . Lust Strict chastity’s aim is to vex. There’s nothing like unshackled sex To tear down repressions In hot private sessions, Leaving you and your partner sheer wrecks. . Sloth The slothful are wise in a way: They’re ready for leisurely play. They go on vacation, Enjoy relaxation, And sleep until ten every day. . Anger Explode like a bomb when required. Make sure your adrenaline’s fired. For letting off steam Is a well-practiced scheme That leaves your foes weakened and tired. . Gluttony A fixed and immutable law Says your belly and gullet and maw Demand satisfaction And digestive action— So stuff what you can in your craw. . Envy If someone’s got something you crave, Just wish him right into the grave. Make no concessions— Steal all his possessions, And stash them away in your cave. . Greed Your stocks and your bonds and your gold Are what you must cling to and hold. Spongers are fickle So don’t give a nickel— Ignore the sob-stories you’re told. . . Joseph S. Salemi has published five books of poetry, and his poems, translations and scholarly articles have appeared in over one hundred publications world-wide. He is the editor of the literary magazine TRINACRIA and writes for Expansive Poetry On-line. He teaches in the Department of Humanities at New York University and in the Department of Classical Languages at Hunter College. 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CODEC News: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) 19 Responses jd May 15, 2022 I love Limericks and these don’t disappoint. The seven deadly sins are definitely in ascendency and not only in daily life. Yours is the second focus on them that I’ve read on line today. Reply Julian D. Woodruff May 15, 2022 Good fun, Joseph. I think I like Gluttony best, but they’re all a treat. Reply Paul Freeman May 15, 2022 Amazing stuff, especially the sustaining of the content and the quality of each poem. Thanks for the reads. Reply Cynthia Erlandson May 15, 2022 Great fun! Reply David Whippman May 15, 2022 Fabulous stuff. CS Lewis’s Screwtape would be proud of you, Joseph! Reply Sally Cook May 15, 2022 Dear Joe – Here I recognize several people I know, as well as their uncles and their cousins and their aunts and their cousins and their wives and what do you know — here comes Sally ! If you can manage to push pomposity or stuff stuffiness in somewhere, please let me now: I’m sure you will never find yourself in company with either. PS – planning any other Biblical translations ? Great stuff ! Reply Brian Yapko May 15, 2022 This is a marvelously conceived matched set of Sin poems which one can almost imagine being featured in a satanic primer for newly trained tempters. Each one is told with economy, humor, pith and bulls-eye accuracy. Gluttony in particular made me chortle — perhaps because it struck far too close to home. Reply Cheryl Corey May 15, 2022 Every one of these made me laugh. All sharply wrought. Reply Joseph S. Salemi May 15, 2022 Thank you all for your kind comments, and especial thanks to Evan Mantyk for picking the Hieronymus Bosch table-top painting of the Seven Deadly Sins as the illustration. Note the central figure of Christ, with the Latin legend “Cave, cave, Dominus videt” (Beware, beware, the Lord sees!) Reply Mia May 16, 2022 The juxtaposition of fun limericks with the serious topic of the seven deadly sins makes these understated genius. From Chaucer to Victor Hugo to the Bible and more, what an absolute delight, congratulations SCP. Reply Margaret Coats May 16, 2022 Joe, you have the wit of Chaucer’s Parson, whose Tale is more fun than one might think. “Gluttony is the devil’s storehouse where he hides and rests.” More inclined to sloth myself, I like your limerick that sheds indulgent limelight on it. Reply Yael May 16, 2022 If I were the devil I think I could not make these 7 deadly sins look any more fun, entertaining and desirable than you have done in these delightful limericks. I love good limericks and reading these almost inspires me to go out to sing, swing, sin and celebrate! Reply C.B. Anderson May 16, 2022 I’ll take these, Joseph, as useful instruction, and if I get into trouble I’ll just tell them that the devil made me do it. Reply Norma Pain May 17, 2022 Thank you for these Joseph. I love limericks and these are all so entertaining. I have on my desk “The Lure of the Limerick” by W.S. Baring-Gould, published in 1970, containing about 500 limericks. One reads: The limerick’s an art-form complex Whose contents run chiefly to sex It’s famous for virgins And masculine urgin’s And vulgar erotic effects! Naughty but Nice! Reply Joseph S. Salemi May 17, 2022 Limericks on the subject of limericks are an entire genre in themselves. Here’s one I recall from a collection, the name of which escapes me now: The limerick packs laughs anatomical In space that is quite economical. But the ones I have seen So seldom are clean, And the clean ones so seldom are comical. Reply Norma Pain May 17, 2022 That one is very true. The really good ones are the ones that are a little bit naughty or have a surprise ending. Joshua C. Frank May 18, 2022 If I were writing a book of limericks, my preface would be: When dirty limericks get old And start to leave you cold Just try some of these Of mine if you please That break the limerick mold! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant May 20, 2022 I love a good limerick and you do the form every justice in this timely and highly amusing series. Thank you, Joe. Reply b June 9, 2022 So good… Salemi is the only poet whose words are absorbed… no effort… at least this was… why? Because he’s real. He doesn’t care what you think (I would say). AND… he KNOWS what he’s talking about and doing. He’s put in and puts in the work! And related… I’m listening to the Black Crowes’ album before the frost until the freeze. You may not think it, but these drunks and sometime junkies made some of the most traditional music in 2009. Who understands tradition today? The classical arts are still revered, and always will be, but who of the upper class that upholds tradition understands its inner meaning? But rednecks…a lot of them do! They don’t know the classics in depth but most have a deep appreciation for it, even if they spend little time on it. They understand. I love the classics, but there’s just no time to spend a lot of time on it. In fact, once you get what it’s all about, you move on. You live the classics. Living is about accomplishing. Getting meaningful things done, for me, a plug of tobacco and a solid redneck track is fuel. But I LIVE the classics. I’ve studied them. I understand them. That’s what makes rednecks rednecks. Their faith is above all else. Not as many people who uphold the classics today are like that. They have too many thoughts. Revere the classics. But I LIVE the classics… Love the meaning! 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. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.