Wednesday, August 3, 2022

There Once Was a Limerick Anthology: Lewis Carroll, Robert Frost, Edward Lear, Mark Twain, Carolyn Wells, Woodrow Wilson and Others


There Once Was a Limerick Anthology is an educational and useful ode to the perennial humble limerick curated by Michael Croland. Due out 17th Aug 2022 from Dover, it's 96 pages and will be available in paperback format as part of Dover's Thrift Editions.

This is not just a great anthology of limericks by famous poets. It's also a well written introduction and deconstruction of the form; explaining the form and function of the stanzas, each line, and some background history. I have been a lifelong lover of the lowly limerick and enjoyed this collection very much. 

The entries are arranged thematically in chapters: Edward Lear, geographical limericks, names, quotations, misspellings, abbreviations, tongue twisters, limericks by famous figures, bawdy limericks (and some of them are *quite* naughty), and miscellany. The editors have included an abbreviated bibliography for further reading. Although this collection focuses on the poets of yesteryear, the editors have included an short afterword with a cleverly constructed modern limerick and a few pithy observations about the future of the form. 

Four stars. Due to the explicit nature of the bawdy limericks, it might not be appropriate for school library acquisition. It would be a good choice for public or home library acquisition. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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