The response to Salon’s first weekly limerick contest was a tsunami of iambic pentameter and predictable rhymes for "Mitt." After wading through your verse, a few favorites emerged.
Mitt's famous car trip provided rich source material:
As travel arrangements were set,
Rafalca had reason to fret,
When Romney explained,
To get to the Games,
She'd be strapped to the roof of the jet!
--Pete DeVriese, Oakland, Calif.
The Romney's were off with a start.
Regrettably, Seamus had farts.
So into the crate,
If he makes it that's great.
If not, Mitt will sell off the parts.
--Michael Peterson, Willowbrook, Ill.
A few addressed themselves to the candidate himself:
Taxes and gaffes have bedeviled,
The man who has never once leveled,
With voters who feel,
There's something unreal,
About hair that is never disheveled.
--Ted Plafker, Beijing, China
The rich candidate Mitt had enough,
And stormed off in an upper-class huff,
When a fighter named Reid,
Claimed “No taxes, indeed.
I’m from Vegas and calling your bluff.”
--Don Kilkoyne, Warwick, N.Y.
Romney's tax plan being no good,
Was dubbed by the Pres, "Romney Hood."
Mitt, ever the phony,
Sharpen debate skills he should.
--Joel S. Rutstein, Burke, Va.
Some were sarcastic:
Mitt’s not vulgar, profane or salacious.
He would never offend! Good gracious!
But in unctuous perfection,
He seeks his election,
In a manner sublimely mendacious.
--Quentin Sullivan, Haverhill, Mass.
This ditty showed a flagrant disregard for rhyme, meter and sense but it’s still amusing:
There once was a guy named Mitt,
'draining Americas teet.
Along came a spider,
'Afixing Willard to the Hadron Collider,
Cackling "where did'ja stash the 1099's, beoch?
--John Kwoka, Chicago
And in medical news:
If your hubby's diabetic-type 2,
There's a lot you must get him to do.
He's sure to resist,
But you can insist,
He pump weights or there's no pumping you!
--Peggy Landsman, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Some poets inevitably write poems about poetry:
No words rhyme with Romney's last name.
With Obama's most options are lame.
The Olympic Games help,
With the coverage of Phelps,
And an off rhyme with thanks to Usain.
--Chad Parenteau, Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Finally, Madeleine Begun Kane, a humorist from Bayside, Queens, and a stickler for poetics, critiqued Salon’s sample limerick:
A certain rich fellow named Romney,
Knows less about people than money.
Since showing his taxes,
Would cause him anaphylaxis.
He insists it’s enough to say, ‘Trust me.’
In limericks, you must rhyme the last stressed syllable of a line. So money, Romney and trust me don't come close to rhyming: Money rhymes with words like bunny and funny. “Trust me” would rhyme with ‘bust me’ or ‘cussed me’ or ‘dust me.’ As for Romney, there's slim pickings I'm afraid, such as ‘calm knee’ or ‘mom knee’ or, if you cheat, ‘hom'ny.’ (That's why we limerick writers are so grateful that Romney's first name is Mitt.)
As for meter, anaphylaxis has too many syllables. (Relaxes has the right number of syllables for that line.)
Good to keep in mind, to be sure, but the Salon contest will be more relaxed. For the next edition send your limericks about Paul Ryan, which should be easier to rhyme than Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Friday at 5 pm. Please include your name and hometown.