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Books: The Limerickiad Volume III: Byron To Baudelaire

Panegyric on the genius uncanny of Mr Rowson’s poetical hat-trick

The Limerickiad Volume III: Byron To Baudelaire
by Martin Rowson
(Smokestack Books, £9.99)

When our cartoonist tires of satire, he —
A bizarre form, you may say, of flattery —
Boils the great works of lit
Down to five lines of wit
Less a tribute, more assault and battery
On the icons of literary fiction.
But Rowson has ducked a conviction
For his versified crimes, al-
though some of his rhymes are
More barbarous than crucifixion.

On its journey to Baudelaire from Byron
This, the third in a series aspirin’
To go merrily trolling
From Homer to Rowling,
Runs no risk of its author acquirin’

The name of a mere poetaster
For this is the work of a master
Though his rhyming’s coerced
And his scansion’s the worst
That you’ve heard since The Tay Bridge Disaster.

(No McGonagall crops up in these verses;
Perhaps there’s no way to make worse his
Tin-eared abuse
Of the poetic muse
Or provoke half the volume of curses.)

He makes “Bronte sore arse” puns, quite shameless,
Reckons Thoreau’s an old ignoramus
Takes in Shelley — what larks! —
Plus old Engels and Marx
As a nod to proles both chained and chainless.

In short, it’s a real tour de force —
If oft’ner than not far too coarse
To read to your granny —
It’s of genius uncanny.
So buy it! I heartily endorse.

James Eagle


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