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This Week’s Special Numbers

April 18, 2016

… 400, 90 and 18!

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. His plays and sonnets are enjoyed the world over and are still as pertinent today as they were when he wrote them. In William’s honour, I am going to share my parody of the bard’s eighteenth sonnet followed by the original. I hope you enjoy them.

Shakespeares 18th worm

Shakespeare’s 18th Worm* – Celia Warren

Shall I compare thee to a bit of string?
Thou art more bristly and more flexible:
Rough soils do hold the horrid stones that sting
And cruel clay is heavily inedible.
Sometime too wet the mouth of heaven spits,
And often are thy segments clogged with dirt,
And every squirm from squirm sometime desists,
By chance of nature’s sending in a bird.
But thy eternal wriggle shan’t grow weak,
Nor lose possession of that squirm thou hast,
Nor blackbird brag thou danglest from his beak,
When in eternal stringiness thou growest.
     So long as worms can squirm or hedgehogs fast,
     So long as birds are late your life will last.

Shakespeare’s 18th Sonnet – William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
  So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
  So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Meanwhile, in the same week, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday. So here’s a lighthearted limerick for our queen:

For Queen Elizabeth II

Our queen will turn ninety this week,
Which means she is almost antique.
She is also the queen
Whose reign has now been
Quite the longest – which makes her unique.

Celia Warren 2016

If you enjoy reading limericks, I have written 1265 others. Each one defines a word from the English language. I wrote them as part of an international project to write a dictionary that defines every word by way of a limerick. It’s called the Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form.

*This worm sonnet is the only worm poem I’ve written that doesn’t appear in Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles — but if you like worms, you know where to find more!


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