Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Google Plus Connect on Flickr

When a Limerick is not a Limerick

Friday, 6 November, 2015

After Lord Montagu of Beaulieu died in August, a seat in the House of Lords became vacant. This has now resulted a hereditary peer by-election — the system by which vacancies left by the death of a sitting hereditary peer are filled. The Earl of Limerick, Edmund Christopher Pery, has put himself forward for the job and the press is reporting that he’s hoping to convince sitting peers to support his bid “by presenting them with a personal statement in the form of a limerick poem.”

As most people know, however, a Limerick (limerick) is a form of poetry in five-line, mostly anapestic tetrameter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA). Limericks are sometimes obscene but the intent is always humourous. The verse that the Earl of Limerick has produced is not lewd, but it is not a limerick and with 12 lines it’s not a sonnet, either. Still, he does get points for “embenched”.

The Upper House knows none so queer
A creature as the Seatless Peer
Flamingo-like he stands all day
With no support to hold his sway
And waits with covert eagerness
For ninety-two to be one less
Then on to hustings he must pace
Once more to plead his special case
Noble Lordships, spare a thought
For one so vertically distraught
And from your seats so well entrenched
Please vote that mine may be embenched

Oxford English Dictionary: embenched em ‘benched, ppl. a.Obs.rare—1
[f. en- + bench n. + -ed.]
Formed into ‘benches’; cf. bench n. 6, 7, and v. 2.
1599 Nashe Lent. Stuffe 9 Cerdicus… was the first..that on those embenched shelues stampt his footing.


Filed in: Poetry • Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.