Shoestring Press, 2008   £6.00 - 



Richard Kell, a fine maker of verse,

Is aware there are many forms worse

Than the limerick, which

Can be silly, sharp, rich,

Or so rude it could cheer up a hearse.


Here’s a book of the things. Is that daft?

No—for Kell writes with style and with craft.

There’s a hundred and thirty

(A few of them dirty);

Your reviewer quite frequently laughed.


Subjects range from our basic biology,

To the knottier points of theology.

Just five lines are enough

For the weightiest stuff—

The limerick needs no apology.


Mr Kell dreams up rhymes for Versailles

(For example, there’s “mailles” and there’s “hailles”)

Finding rhymes for De Broglie’s

Something else he enjoys,

And he makes it look easy as pailles.


So—Kell’s mastered the limerick’s art,

But is this a form lacking heart?

Can a limerick sound

Any depth that’s profound?

Well this one is more than just smart:


      “There’s a glimmer of dawn on the lake,

     And a sigh where the bulrushes shake.

     Someone raps on the door

     Of a house by the shore,

     But only the watchdog’s awake.”


Can the limerick then be as swell
As the sonnet or ode or rondel?

Kell admits this art’s minor

But few make them finer

Than Kell—Hell! He does them so well!




George Simmers