Following the success of The Limerickiad volume I, Martin Rowson continues to lower the tone by reducing literary classics to a series of terrible limericks. Mixing Low Comedy and High Seriousness, awful puns and dodgy rhymes, The Limerickiad volume II takes the story forward from John Donne to Jane Austen. Along the way he takes the piss out of Jacobean Tragedy, mangles all XII books of Paradise Lost and hangs out with some like-minded Augustan satirists before ridiculing the entire European Romantic movement.
The poetic oeuvre of JOHN DONNE Can be summed up as 'Get one in, son! Take yer knickers off, love!' So when Our Lord Above Intruded it ruined the fun. As a youth John purred 'Baby, you're sweet!' And spreadeagled the chick on a sheet! With the air turning blue He'd exhale a loud 'Phew!' And compose a poetic conceit. When the sun rose (the busy old fool) Our boy was still clutching his tool With wit and some menace And crying, 'My pen is Mightier than pork swords, as a rule.' Yet through CARNAL LUSTS ManKind falls So Donne became Dean of St. Paul's And now played a new part 'Cos God battered his heart And presumably chopped off his balls... We are not yet done with JOHN DONNE; Left him underdone; merely a pun. But listen up, sister: Dean Donne's a tongue twister! (And not just like that, though that's fun...) Each dawn Dean John Donne donned dun hose Which Donne darned when it ripped to expose Donne's dangling dong, So he droned this sad song: 'The world's whole sap's sunk, I suppose.' 'But Death be not proud!' with a shout Dean Donne deigned to hang it all out! Donne denied, drowned in din, This denoted a sin: 'New philosophies call all in doubt!' 'No man is an island!' quoth he. Then Donne downed double scotch for his tea! As Donne drooled down the dunnee A wit said, 'That's funny, John Donne! For the BELLS told for thee!!'
Metaphysicist ANDREW MARVELL Put down his quill sighing, 'Oh swell! Where's my one chance of joy When my MISTRESS IS COY? What are we to do? Oh, 'Kin 'ell! Had we but world enough, plus the time, This coyness, lady, were no crime, But what's the point if We wait 'til we're both stiff? 'Cos the dead, luv, are well past their prime! But at my back I always hear Time's wing'd chariot hurrying near; Deserts of vast eternity Will scupper paternity If we don't make haste right now, m'dear! So come on, babe, take off that sweater! If you like I can use this French letter 'Fore I discharge my load!' (Though in MARVELL's own ode I concede the last stanza reads better...)
With a loud Hanoverian whinny The PRINCE REGENT (aka 'PRINNY') Bellowed 'Du Lieber Gott! Though I love WALTER SCOTT Get me something to read that's more skinny! I need a book where the plot runs quick! Not GOETHE, for although that hun's slick, His style's too exacting And I need distracting From that damn'd CAR-O-LINE OF BRUNSWICK!* Each ROMANTIC POET's a bore! And in my place you would deplore The verse of LORD BYRON (he Deploys too much irony At this stage of th' Peninsular War)! I want something like sugar frostin'! Yet sharp and well written, and costin' No more than a guinea!' Demanded fat Prinny. And that's how we get to JANE AUSTEN. * She stank. He was fat and a sot. As to ROYAL WEDDINGS, that's yer lot!
'a delightfully dirty digest of literature from Gilgamesh to Shakespeare.'
Independent on Sunday
'although the rhymes can sometimes make you groan, they’re meant to, and they delight you with their inventiveness.'
'Gory, bawdy, crass, crude, brutal – and a tour de force not to be missed by fans of classic literature, appalling puns and Rowson's inimitable style.'