Writing Prompt #1: Challenge Accepted


The Legend of Sir Chester Nutt

(or, Thank God for Karma, She’s Less of a Bitch than We Thought)


One day in your car for a whirl,

You swerved to avoid a squirrel.

He swore on his life

That he’d make it right,

Then he went off to train with the girls.


Xena taught him to use a sword,

And Wonder Woman her golden cord.

And he trained his might

To become overnight

The squirrel who quite loudly roared.


Then one night you are held up with knives

And you rightfully fear for your life.

You squirm and you struggle

With this frightful big muggle

And then suddenly, that squirrel arrives.


He’s a great sight for you where you cower

Defeating your foe with great power!

With a whack and a thrust,

He’s the hero to trust,

Defending you in your dark hour.

Transgressive Poetry

I was just reading a post about limericks and it reminded me of one that I wrote in high school:

True Story

We once had a test in French class

That everyone failed en masse.

Madame had a fit.

We did better in Lit

’Cause at least there, everyone passed.

Apparently the form has little to do with Limerick, Ireland, although some people speculate the verse form might have been built on an old song, “Come to Limerick.” According to Wikipedia, most limericks are at least slightly obscene. “From a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function.”

I like the idea that poetry can be used to transgress societal taboos. We should also remember that one of the jobs of the Celtic bards was to use their songs not just to commemorate their patrons’ activities but also to mock or shame patrons who had acted unjustly or with a lack of hospitality. Perhaps editorial cartoonists are filling that role now along with political comics such as John Stewart or John Oliver. Then I just Googled political limerick and came up with 261,000 results, so maybe things have not changed as much as I thought.

“Limerick (poetry).” Wikipedia. 6 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2015.