Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Dark" Criticism

While I usually limit posts to the limerick(s) for the day, recently "29 Words or Less" faced both criticism and support in blogs written or moderated by reporters for the Spokesman Review for treatment of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Oddly, the criticism was not because the sensitive topic was mocked or passed off lightly, but rather because it was treated with utmost sincerity and concern for the victims and their families - within the constraints of the limerick medium however - which a few readers felt was an unsuitable format for such condolence.
While I'm in agreement that the limerick has earned the reputation of being the party animal of poetic endeavors, I believe it has an unpretentiousness and versatility that allow it to cover a wide range of topics successfully both with or without humorous content, and do so in a compact sound-bite package. Employed in this fashion the limerick is not unlike a political cartoon vs. a "funnies" comic, a Punch and Judy puppet show, or an old fashioned Nursery Rhyme (often a thin disguise for social or political commentary).
My effort then is to take this bawdy bad boy of prose, dress him in a suit and comb his hair, and put him on a "stage" like a Leno, Letterman, or O'Brien. Ideally the natural, raw, stand-up comic edginess is offset with a measure of intellectual civility and wit resulting in a charmingly unpredictable companion with a dangerous edge. On some days however, when the news is somber beyond belief, wit has to be set aside for sincerity, whether it pleases the critics or not.
The following is another example of a contemplative work in a limerick format. I hope it provokes thought and not offense. Sincerely, Andy.

Our troops have been sent to Iraq,
And some won't be coming back.
As patriots loyal,
Do they toil for oil,
Tradin' pints of red for black?


gaw said...

A Response:

"No blood for oil" they scream,
As if it were Halibuton's dream,
To waste so many young lives,
For our Sunday afternoon drives,
With regular unleaded at $3.19.

stacy said...

its me again, your thing.. I love your limericks..