NPM: PF: On the perils of misunderstanding idioms

It’s funny how the mind works, isn’t it? My mind was on quite a ramble this morning. I was thinking about PF and how I haven’t participated in weeks. I figured this week wouldn’t be much different, as I haven’t been writing much. Then, I was remembering a comment I made to my writing group about trying to write something “light and sprightly” after I’d shared yet another pair of somber, dark poems. I like the word “sprightly” and the sound of it, so I jotted down a bunch of “ight” words in my notebook.

Next, my thoughts turned to my after school Writing Club. This past Monday we started talking about favorite Shel Silverstein poems. Someone mentioned the one about the person who lost their head and ended up giving up looking for it and sitting on it. Another student looked horrified: She clearly was not familiar with the poem. So, of course, we had to dig out “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and share that poem with her, along with a few select others. And I was thinking about how joyful that was and how timeless Shel Silverstein is.

My thoughts wandered along and perhaps “Someone Ate the Baby” (another epic Silverstein poem) was percolating in there somewhere (though we hadn’t shared it), because the phrase “I want to eat you all up!” and potential misunderstandings popped into my head. Somehow it combined with some of those “ight” words and suddenly there was a limerick in my head. It isn’t light and sprightful, but writing it made me giggle. I hope you enjoy it as well.

On the perils of misunderstanding idioms

There once was a baby delightful.
Everyone said they wanted a biteful.
As they cuddled and oohed,
I snuck in and chewed.
And now they all think I am frightful.

©Molly Hogan

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Make sure to stop by to enjoy some poetry as National Poetry Month winds down.

NPM: Limerick

I thought March was the busy month, but April is proving to be quite full as well. Yikes! I’m barely squeaking in with a limerick today. This is definitely not my finest effort, but writing a limerick makes me feel close to my dad. And that’s always a win.

There once was a Tuesday as busy
as a dropped soda can full and fizzy
Things started to hop
blew off the pop top
Leaving everyone shellshocked and dizzy

©Molly Hogan

Yup. That’s about what it feels like!

PF: Limericks to the rescue!

When life is feeling a bit overwhelming, it’s surprising how often a limerick can come to the rescue. It’s an easy access poem, with no claim to deeper meaning and a delight in being trivial. How refreshing is that?! It also can incorporate some stunningly adept and amusing word play. And let’s not forget the occasional bawdy humor.

Here’s one of my favorite limericks by Ogden Nash:

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

Another fabulous limerick, author unknown:

There was a young lady of Ryde
Who ate some green apples and died;
The apples fermented
Inside the lamented
And made cider inside her inside.

I mean, really, how fabulous is that?

Many people can pull a limerick out of their memory. Maybe this is due to the distinct rhythm and rhyme scheme, or perhaps due to their often naughty nature. On a recent visit, my dad regaled us with this limerick, author unknown:

There was a young lady from Thrace
Whose corsets grew too tight to lace.
     Her mother said, “Nelly,
     There’s more in your belly
Than ever went in through your face!

So, I suppose it’s not surprising that I turned to limericks when approaching our group’s most recent challenge. This month Mary Lee Hahn selected the challenge. She suggested that we “Explain a poetry term (simile, metaphor, allegory, allusion, etc) in a poem that makes use of that term. OR tell how to write a poetry form (ode, elegy, sonnet, limerick, etc) in that form.”

Here are my efforts:


If your poems tend toward nude or to crude
Here’s a form with the right attitude
It’s short, though not sweet
with distinct metric feet
and in five lines, amusingly rude.

©Molly Hogan


A limerick’s a poem with a beat
a pattern of metrical feet
It’s rhyme scheme is set
and if you forget
your readers really won’t be satisfied.

©Molly Hogan

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Catherine Flynn at her blog, Reading to the Core. Make sure to check out her response to the challenge.

If you’d like to see what other Inklings did with this challenge, check out their sites here:

Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche

Limericks to the Rescue!

It was a long week. Hybrid Model. Group A. Group B. Daily Agendas. NWEA Testing. F&P Testing.

I barely squeaked out this limerick.

The Tale of the Fashionable Carrot

There once was a carrot by chance,
whose roots grew to look like orange pants.
He capered, cavorted,
his root legs contorted,
creating his own harvest dance.

©Molly Hogan

And since writing limericks is such fun, I was inspired to try another in response to Jone’s invitation to write a math-related poem today.

Standardized Testing and Vocabulary Enrichment

When math testing wouldn’t resume
I started to fret and to fume.
Technological glitches
unfiltered my lipses.
The F-bomb went off in my room.

©Molly Hogan

Ok, the f-bomb was dropped. But actually only after students had departed for the day and I couldn’t get the next day’s test session set up. Talk about aggravating! It was one tech testing snafu after another all day long. Ugh.

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Jone McCullough at her new blog site. She’s invited participants to share math-inspired poems and is highlighting a few from a soon-to-be-released anthology by Janet Wong and Sylva Vardell.