It's a good day for a limerick

THIS week marks the anniversary of the birth of Britisher Edward Lear in 1812. His name is not a household word, except perhaps in the homes of literature professors. It was Lear who became the poet laureate of the limerick, the literary form that still has a way of putting a smile on a sober face.

Lear was the 20th child in a London family of 21 children. He grew up to be a tall and unattractive man, whose talent appeared to be in painting. But Lear's frustrations as an artist were released in what he called ``nonsense'' verse and cartoons that rivaled nursery rhymes in form but had a much wider audience. His most famous work, ``A Book of Nonsense'' (1846), paved the way for the limerick's respectability among adults.

You might try writing your own limerick after recalling a couple of Lear's contributions: There is a young lady, whose nose, Continually prospers and grows; When it grew out of sight, she exclaimed in a fright, ``Oh! Farewell to the end of my nose!'' There was an Old Man in a tree, Who was horribly bored by a Bee; When they said, ``Does it buzz?'' he replied, ``Yes, it does, It's a regular brute of a Bee!''

Thomas V. DiBacco is a writer in train, Whose prose is considerably plain. When they asked, ``Will it sing?'' he replied with a zing, ``That's within the singer's domain.''

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