Saturday, May 12, 2012

Florence Nightingale or limericks: Choose wisely

I'd mentioned earlier this week that today would be the culmination of National Nurses' Week -- Florence Nightingale's Birthday.

But you may feel that you've sufficiently honored the nursing profession this week already.

For those feeling this way, I can offer National Limerick Day as an alternative.

National Limerick Day is celebrated on May 12 because today happens to be the birthday of Edward Lear, an English poet who popularized the limerick in works such as A Book of Nonsense. (He was also the author of The Owl and the Pussycat.) Today, in fact, happens to be Lear's bicentennial: He was born on this date in 1812.

Of course, there are those, like this unknown critic, who do not think very highly of limericks as an art form:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical.

But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean

And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

If you know anyone who takes this attitude, it would probably be best not to recite any of the more pungent variations on the "girl from Nantucket," even today.


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