Dr. Seuss’s advice about writing should be the lesson for April, which is National Poetry Month. “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
One of the shortest poems is attributed to Shel Silverstein (and to several other writers, including anonymous). The title is “Fleas” and the poem is this: Adam had’em
Before dementia dulled my mother’s writing pursuits, she wrote notes, ideas, opening sentences and short poems on scraps of paper and tucked them in pockets, purses and notebooks. Recently I found details about limericks. “There are three types of limericks: those told when ladies are present; those told when ladies are absent but clergymen are present; and LIMERICKS.” This is another: “Limericks are 5 lines long, and lines 1,2,and 5 rhyme. Limericks can be true or not. Some are naughty.” And this is my favorite: “Do not write a first line that rhymes with Nantucket.”
My mom wrote many travel and children’s poems, but very few limericks. In her writing box I found one that was a winner in the Kansas Authors Club Contest. It was in the Farm or Rural category, written many years ago. Here it is:
A little old man with six dogs ~ Used his dogs to round up his hogs. ~ But the hogs in a fury, ~ Turned in a hurry, ~ And frightened away the man’s dogs.
I write in almost all genres except poetry. But this is National Poetry Month, and April 5 is “Go For Broke Day,” when everyone is encouraged to take a risk and put it all on the line. In that spirit, today I wrote my first limerick. It is about my mother, a tribute to all her years of teaching Sunday school and helping children through hard times.
There once was a mother whose smile ~ Made even mistakes seem worthwhile. ~ She also had a sweet way ~ Of teaching children to pray ~ And making their heavy hearts smile.
To celebrate National Poetry Month, I hope the brave ones among you will share a poem, especially limericks that don’t rhyme with Nantucket. Feel free to Go For Broke.