Rhyme and Reason

December 18, 2000


As you know, I’ve a weakness for verse, and I have a particular weakness for limericks. I have produced a few good ones over many years, but the dreadful efforts outnumber them. The cartoon above features a limerick which, I think, promised a bit of clever word-play, but the rhyme is not good. That comes of being a cartoonist with a relentless deadline instead of a poet with endless hours to gaze upon pastoral scenes and tweak nascent words whenever the muse deigns by. At least that is my excuse. You give it a try! Using as much or as little of the above verse as you wish while preserving the premise, write your own version. I’ll pick a winner and anoint him or her “Arlo & Janis Poet Laureate for a Day.” Alas, that will be its own reward.


33 thoughts on “Rhyme and Reason”

  1. The Challenge-
    When the morning alarms too early
    Hitting the snooze will surely
    Bring the thot to yer fuzzy head
    You must leave yer comfy bed
    To face the day not surly!

  2. Challenge accepted! Trying to tweak only the rhyme… *ahem-hem*

    Punch once, and then you just snore on,
    two, three, four… but morning wore on,
    the night is through,
    it dawns on you,
    snooze alarm’s an oxymoron.

  3. “…tweak nascent words…” Well, OK! 🙂
    My strength (if I actually have one) is in haiku, but I’ve done a few limericks here, such as the one about kudzu many years ago, so I’ll give it a shot when I get time.

  4. The alarm clock jolts you from sleep

    But you think your morning will keep

    Don’t hit the snooze button

    Unless you’re a glutton

    For hearing that son of a bleep!

  5. A sail boat for Arlo and Jannis,
    Was bought for a trip to Hyannis.
    When a rash hurricane,
    Hit them like a freight train,
    And they both ended up in Atlantis.

  6. The clock starts each day most alarming,
    My sleep it is instantly harming,
    Though the dreams of the day may be charming,
    What it needs is a darn good disarming.

  7. A valiant but lame attempt…

    There once was a man from Nantucket, who kept all his clocks in a bucket,
    The alarm clock would ring the bucket he would fling, far from the sound of Nantucket…

  8. My oxymoronical beast
    The ‘larm clock is welcomed the least
    Its bray hath the charm
    Of any pig farm
    And should be desisted and ceased.
    .
    [I favor the 8-syllable first, second, and fifth lines with accents located at proper points. Lines 3 and 4 can be a different length, but both ought have the same number of syllables.]

  9. The challenge:
    Slap once, and sleep some more
    Twice, thrice, it’s tough to ignore
    For the night bids adieu
    As dawn breaks anew
    Snooze alarm – leave me be, I implore

  10. Getting the lines to match the artwork is the challenge. The art, standing alone without any text was sufficient for the days humor. As always, we have all been in that situation. The verse just adds some whimsy.

  11. Punch once, and then you just snore on,
    two, three, four… you can’t ignore on,
    the night is through,
    it dawns on you,
    snooze alarm’s an oxymoron.

  12. Jackie update: As of now, the medical center is still awaiting delivery of the parts required to put her leg back together. However, they anticipate them arriving either tonight or tomorrow morning, so she is tentatively scheduled for surgery tomorrow afternoon.

  13. Midnight meal prior to being NPO until after surgery tomorrow. My sweet nurse suggested it and sent me a turkey sandwich, applesauce, peanut butter, grapejuice. I left the Graham crackers, half sandwich and canned peaches.

    Going to miss the water more than food!

    I like the joke better without dialogue.

  14. I disagree with you, Jimmy: The rhymes “and keep asnorin’,” “there’s no ignorin’,” and “an oxymoron” have *exactly* the same poetic rhythm *and* rhyme. It’s fine, and even pretty good, because the last word comes as a bit of a comic surprise–your very intent. The rhyming is all fine! It’s the poetic rhythm elsewhere that changes a little between lines; fix that and you’re good. Remember, your limerick here is different from most: no pickup syllables, no anacruses, as the first line establishes, id est:

    Punch it once, and keep on snorin’,
    Two, three, four–there’s no ignorin’,
    Night is through, It dawns on you {that}
    Snooze alarm’s an oxymoron.

    I don’t care for the “that”; I think it’s optional just to make each line trochaic tetrameter. But I’d leave it off to make that line end in an incomplete foot (I just last month learned the term for that is “catalectic”).

    Nip here, tuck there.

  15. A long day, but a successful one. Jackie is doing well after surgery, and the surgeon was pleased with how it went. Now for physical therapy for few days at the hospital, followed by an expected return home early next week.

  16. Re 12-2-20 real-time cartoon: “Now, take it off.” Arlo is a gentleman and a pervert.
    Some years ago, he apparently did something similar when he called her at work. Her response was to whisper into the phone, “They’re pink.”
    Not sure exactly what’s going on in the second panel. Janis’s jeans and top seem to be battling for possession of her midriff.

  17. Re 12-3-20 real-time cartoon: Two ways to tell if you have indigestion or are having a heart attack…
    You burp and the chest pains go way and don’t come back.
    The ER physician says, “You’ve had a myocardial infarction.”
    The former is less expensive. The latter is more reliable.

  18. The alarm goes off and you just hit snooze.
    But it rings again and you have to choose.
    You might hit it again, but realize forlorn
    That the word “Snooze Button” is an oxymoron.

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