Irreverent American Literature Limericks

There is a story behind these. It involves a desk, an iPhone, a copy of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and lots of caffeine. It’s quite a long story, actually, so I’ll cut to the chase: I have written a series of limericks (sort of) for every book/play we read in my American Literature Honors course, save Catcher in the Rye. This is because I couldn’t think of a good rhyme for “Holden.” (Embolden? Crawled in? Hat pin?)

So… without further ado, I present to you:

LIT HONORS LIMERICKS

by Aditi Ramaswamy

 (Feel free to cringe.)

 

THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD

There once was a young woman named Janie –

Though a drop-out, she was fairly brainy;

Being restless, she ran away to the swamp

Where, to her horror, a mad dog went “chomp!”

Thus ended the travels of poor Janie.

 

THE GREAT GATSBY*

 There once was a lady named Daisy

Who proved to be inestimably lazy;

She met young Jay Gatsby

And won his undying fancy;

Yet when he died, her eyes were left dried;

She simply yawned and said “That man was crazy!”

 

THE SCARLET LETTER

There once was a man named Dimmesdale

Whose face was perpetually pale;

He had a young daughter,

But claimed he wasn’t a father;

That poor guilty Rev’rend Dimmesdale.

 

A RAISIN IN THE SUN

There once was a fellow named Walter;

Whose belief in his dreams never faltered;

He tried his utmost – 

And came oh so close – 

Yet in the end couldn’t escape from his halter.

 

THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN

There once was a boy named Huck Finn;

Who thought freeing a slave was a sin;

Yet he paddled through mud

And braved every flood

To help his newfound friend Jim.

 

*This one is not strictly a limerick. It has one extra line… but I just couldn’t resist.