Lucy Vickery


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In Competition No. 2995 you were invited to submit ribald limericks as they might have been written by a well-known poet.

William Baring-Gould, who wrote a history of the genre, noted that when a limerick appears, sex is not far behind And the writer Norman Douglas considered limericks to be ‘jovial things… a yea-saying to life in a world that has grown grey’.

The cheering winners of what was a hugely popular comp are rewarded with £8 each.

Though most of my loves are Platonicer,

It was always quite different with Monica.

If I’ve got a hard ’un

Down there in the garden,

We do it behind the Japonica.

John Whitworth/Philip Larkin

Although candy is dandy, what’s finer

And much quicker is liquor, so wine her.

Is a peck on the cheek

All the boon that you seek?

Tut! The odds say your goal’s her vaginer.

Max Gutmann/Ogden Nash

Daddy, won’t you get out of my head?

(Oh I bet you were beastly in bed!)

You were fascist and vile

And I think of you while

Being thoroughly rogered by Ted.

George Simmers/Sylvia Plath

When I met her, my married half-sister

Looked like me in a gown, so I kissed her.

If I see my reflection,

I get an erection,

And that’s why I couldn’t resist her.

Susan McLean/Byron

He would tickle the Feathers — of Hope —

Should he slather my Breasts with rich Soap —

And the shape of my Sole —

O, such loud Barcarole —

Singing Bind Me, Securely — with Rope.

D.A. Prince/Emily Dickinson

A wildly priapic young fellow

Sported trousers of daffodil-yellow

Which at parties he’d doff

To insanely jerk off,

After which he’d feel placid and mellow.

Basil Ransome-Davies/William Wordsworth

I will tell you the truth about love.

Before tentative push comes to shove

I’ll be happy to find

That it’s you I’m behind

Or below or beside or above.

Martin Parker/W.H. Auden

Ophelia said ‘Let’s have some grub,

’Cos I’m starving.’ ‘Of course, tiger-cub,’

Replied Hamlet, ‘But first,

Thou must deal with my wurst.

Move thy hand like this … Ay, there’s the rub!’

Derek Robinson/William Shakespeare

On the naturist beach, he loves staring

At flesh that the ladies are baring.

He even makes passes

At girls who wear glasses,

Provided that’s all that they’re wearing.

Sylvia Smith/Dorothy Parker

Love’s an art that can turn to disaster.

From no date should you run away faster

Than a Star Wars fanboy

Who calls his favourite toy

His ‘light sabre’ or ‘Jedi Master’.

Francis Harry/Elizabeth Bishop

A nightingale’s warbling is canny;

An urn’ll outlive your old Granny:

I’m crazy for Psyche,

But really me likey

A handful of beautiful Fanny.

Bill Greenwell/John Keats

The vicar was tempted to flee

When the Bishop’s wife said after tea,

‘Oh Reverend Morgan

Do show me your organ!

It’s something I’m dying to see.’

Alan Millard/John Betjeman

Fae the crypt in the hert o’ St Giles

Cam’ a scream heard by folks roon fur miles

Says a wiley auld Hen

‘Dis the Deacon no’ ken

That oor Minister suffers fae piles?’

John Samson/Robert Burns

There was an old poet named Lear,

Whose sex life was, verbally, queer.

He pobbled his dong

In a luminous thong,

Turning green in Gromboolian beer!

P.C. Parrish/Edward Lear

I am large, I contain multitudes.

I engirth them in all attitudes.

Their flesh is divine,

And a blessing to mine.

We’re all mystical, hankering nudes.

A.G. Atkinson/Walt Whitman

Bloody men are like buses? Well, test

That big claim and you won’t be impressed.

Contradicting that boast,

You’ll discover that most

Are like little French compacts at best.

Noam D. Plum/Wendy Cope

My darling, please turn out the light.

Don’t worry, I swear I won’t bite…

…unless you say, ‘Do, sir!​

…It’s that which I choose, sir!​

I pray, don’t go gentle tonight!’

Robert Schechter/Dylan Thomas

Are you — Nobody — sir? So am I!

I can see how you — reach for the Sky

With your Grail seeking Lance.

If you’re — up for Romance,

No Body than mine is more — spry.

Chris O’Carroll/Emily Dickinson

No. 2998: lost in translation

You are invited to submit a set of instructions for an everyday device that have been badly translated into English. Please email up to 150 words to by midday on 10 May.