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Roy Jerden's Blog

About Roy Jerden
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I starting writing poetry again in 2012 after a 50 year hiatus.

Born and raised in West Texas, I lived all over the area as a child until my mother remarried, as my father was in the oil drilling business, which required constant moving. I grew up in San Angelo, home of Fort Concho and the Buffalo Soldiers, but spent quite a few summers working on my grandpa's farm in the Texas Hill Country.

I met my wife Toni while I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy. I learned to speak Italian fluently and we still speak it at home interchangeably with English. My three sons, all born in Italy after I got out of the USAF, also speak Italian.

We moved back to the USA in 1972 and settled in Missouri, where I went back to school.

We moved to Atlanta in 1988, when Toni relocated here with AT&T. I got a job with McKesson (then HBOC) working with medical information systems, which started my career in this field. I had a natural talent for application design and parlayed this talent into a great R&D management position with an internet startup.

We are now retired. We spend time traveling the world and visiting our grandchildren in CA and NC. We also spend some time in Italy almost every year visiting and traveling with friends in Europe as we have a small apartment there in Sacile near Aviano, not far from Venice.

My other passions are mushroom hunting (the edible kind), gourmet cooking and bread baking.

Limerick Contest Update

Blog Posted:5/22/2014 2:48:00 PM
I wanted to give an update on this contest as there are several limericks I will have to exclude from placement if they are not fixed. I also would like to give a quick tutorial on what a bawdy limerick is.

There are five limericks which are off the count by one syllable. Please do a syllable count and correct if necessary.

The count is 9,9,6,6,9. No exceptions.

One poem would be a proper limerick if the rhyme scheme were followed. In this one, the 4th and 5th lines rhyme. That is not correct. The correct rhyme scheme is AABBA, not AABBB. Please correct.

A bawdy limerick is not a dirty limerick. A dirty limerick is explicit. A bawdy limerick uses words with double meanings. Done to perfection, a bawdy limerick can be read without overtly offending anyone, although few reach that level. Part of what makes the bawdy limerick funny is "getting" the clever double entendres that a child wouldn't understand. If you remember the "Benny Hill Show", a lot of its humor was based on double meanings.

If you want the limerick to be really funny, it should also employ traditional humorous devices.

The most common device is what the Germans call Schadenfreude, happiness at the misfortune of others. It's the clown's pratfall, the church lady fart, etc.

Another device, a bit kinder, is incongruity. That's the surprise twist, the punchline that often makes a joke funny.

Another common device is manipulation of the language, using puns and tortured rhyme, or dialect.

The really funny limericks will use several humorous devices.

Here's a limerick I wrote for a St. Patrick's day contest. I have tweaked it a bit since then. I will deconstruct it, also.

Premature Exoneration

"It's a cuckold I am!", Mick sadly said
"I'm after finding black hairs in me bed!"
    "An' there's a relief!"
    Sighed Rusty O'Keefe
"I was shure ye were aboot ta say red!"

So the limerick employs Schadenfreude, as Mick laments his wife's cheating with a black haired man. Note that the word "hairs" was used, not "hair", hence code for pubic hair.

The turn comes when Rusty (nickname for someone with red hair) expresses relief that Mick didn't find his color hair. Then, in the punchline, he stupidly incriminates himself by expressing certainty that Mick was actually going to find his hair color, which means he was in Mick's bed also.

Finally, Schadenfreude reappears as Mick is now doubly cuckold, and Rusty has screwed himself too.

Also, the poem is written using Irish phraseology and words are changed to mimic the pronunciation. Perhaps unkind stereotyping, but it wouldn't be as funny otherwise.

Here's a bawdy limerick I wrote using double meanings:

The Well Traveled Linguist

A ventriloquist there was named Monique
Who could make all of her body parts speak
    Her right hand did British
    Her left handled Yiddish
Down below she preferred French and took Greek

Even the title is a double entendre, as "Well Traveled" is code for "been around the block".

It is pretty innocuous until the last line as there is no implication of sexual content until then. Then the double meanings of French (oral sex) and Greek (anal sex) kick in and it becomes quite naughty to those who know the code words. Actually, you could probably even use British and Yiddish if you wanted to stretch things, but I think they've been stretched enough.

Both limericks were based on jokes I read, but were not simply poetic reproductions. The idea is to discover what the essence of the joke is and use that in some way.

Here's the first one:

Sean says to Paddy and Mick, "My wife is sleeping with another man."
Paddy says, "Has he got ginger pubes?"
Mick says, "I most certainly do not!"

And the second:

Q: How does a woman scare a gynecologist?
A: By becoming a ventriloquist!

Actually, this one evolved quite a bit, as the first version of this limerick was very close to the joke:

There was a lady ventriloquist
With maybe an ovarian cyst
    At the time of diagnosis
    The doc had a thrombosis
When her genitals asked to be kissed

In any case, look at some jokes to get ideas.

Also, work on the meter. There are only a few of the poems submitted that have proper limerick meter.

Cheers, and have fun.

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  1. Date: 5/22/2014 10:19:00 PM
    Roy, I believe I understand about bawdy limericks and I really like your examples. But for me "dirty" means "bawdy" as well. There is "subtle dirty"(a more clever type of humor) and there is "too explicit dirty." I prefer the first kind, the way you are doing it. Yes, I saw a few of the limericks using wrong syllable or rhyme scheme in your contest. I tried to point it out to them. I hope some of them listened to me.

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  1. Date: 5/22/2014 8:12:00 PM
    Hey they seemed to have taken away the ABOUT the POEM ability so now you can't see MacCool's tool!

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    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 5/23/2014 9:45:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You're right! The old ones still seem to work, though. Wonder if it's a glitch...
  1. Date: 5/22/2014 8:10:00 PM
    wow those are too racy for me LOL I hope I counted right please let me know! L & L

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    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 5/23/2014 9:53:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    euphemisms are US LOL
    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 5/23/2014 9:41:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I'm never concerned about yours, Debbie. Hmmm... Too racy? I seem to remember one that I fav'ed about Pearl Diving....

My Past Blog Posts

Non-Christian Poetry Contest Update
Date Posted: 10/19/2014 9:05:00 AM
New Contest - Religious Poetry: Non-Christian
Date Posted: 10/5/2014 6:40:00 AM
Date Posted: 9/30/2014 10:57:00 AM
The Pedicure Virgin
Date Posted: 9/11/2014 8:19:00 PM
How to make an image out of a long poem
Date Posted: 9/3/2014 12:58:00 PM
How to do a scansion of your poem to verify the meter
Date Posted: 8/19/2014 6:03:00 PM
Too Subtle?
Date Posted: 8/15/2014 1:39:00 PM
New Feature -Poet's Notes About the Poem
Date Posted: 8/2/2014 12:31:00 PM
Free Verse: Start here or finish here
Date Posted: 7/21/2014 7:04:00 PM
Bogus Entries in Contests
Date Posted: 7/19/2014 6:46:00 AM
Punctuation and Capitalization in Poetry
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 6:35:00 PM
About Poem/Poem Notes/Inspiration, etc.
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 8:17:00 AM
Bawdy Limericks II Judged
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 2:48:00 PM
To Footnote or Not to Footnote?
Date Posted: 7/3/2014 8:47:00 PM
User trying to set a password
Date Posted: 6/24/2014 10:01:00 PM
Centering, Bolding, and Italicizing in a Poem
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 9:51:00 PM
Bawdy Limerick Contest Complete
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 4:38:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update - Last chance
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:31:00 PM
Bonnie Parker's Poetry
Date Posted: 5/24/2014 2:48:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update
Date Posted: 5/22/2014 2:48:00 PM
Kudos on the Miltonic Sonnet Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 4:06:00 PM
Limerick Contest
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 7:56:00 PM
Roy's Ramblings - The Final Invention
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 9:42:00 AM
Contest Enhancements I'd Like to See
Date Posted: 4/24/2014 10:12:00 AM
Age Test
Date Posted: 3/23/2014 8:44:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
10/25/2014Pi DayRhymehumor,
10/25/2014Go For ItCarpe Dieminspirational,
10/15/2014Halloween on the Dark Side of TownRhymeholiday,satire,
10/1/2014Cowboys in the BadlandsProsebaseball,cowboy,native am
9/22/2014Andrea DietrichClerihewtribute,
9/15/2014The Empty QuarterAlliterationearth,nature,stars,
8/31/2014Bad GoldilocksAbecedarianhumorous,
8/25/2014Pussy RiotChastushkahumor,
8/23/2014Matryoshkan MultiverseHaibunhumor,
8/18/2014A Roll of Duct Tape - FootleFootlehumor,
8/10/2014The New OneBlank versedark,
8/5/2014Little SuperheroesQuatrainchild,children,
7/22/2014A Brush of WingsVersebird,
7/16/2014Great A'Tuin - the Giant Star TurtleHaibundeath,journey,stars,
7/13/2014Blood on the SaddleLimerickfunny,vacation,
7/8/2014Willow: A FableRhymechildren,death,dream,fant
6/30/2014Ragnarok: The StormEpyllionweather,
6/28/2014Dante's PathQuatrainspiritual,
6/11/2014Bill's DrillLimerickhumorous,
5/26/2014Albert EinsteinClerihewhumorous,science,
5/22/2014John Cougar MellencampClerihewbio,humorous,
5/19/2014Same Old SoupQuatrainpoetry,satire,
5/14/2014Into the SunlightHaikunature,
5/7/2014Jonah Falcon He's NotLimerickfunny,
5/6/2014The Well Traveled LinguistLimerickhumorous,
5/5/2014Raise the MastLimerickhumorous,
5/4/2014Are you glad to see me or is that just a wrinkleLimerickage,funny,
5/2/2014The Devil Can Cite Scripture For His PurposeRhymehate,religion,slam,
5/1/2014On Conspiracy TheoriesSonnetphilosophy,
4/28/2014Florida GoldLimerickfunny,
4/28/2014Tongue OilLimerickfunny,
4/28/2014Red MoonLimerickfunny,
4/28/2014Fochs GnusRhymeslam,
4/24/2014Concerning Human UnderstandingBlank versephilosophy,
4/1/2014The Thunderous Wonderous Electric Toy TrainRhymechristmas,nostalgia,
3/18/2014Ignominious ExitRhymehumorous,
3/11/2014Premature ExonerationLimerickholiday,humor,
2/28/2014Going GiggingRhymefishing,
2/10/2014A Series of Unfortunate Darwin AwardsLimerickdeath,humorous,silly,
2/7/2014What Can I DoSonnetabsence,death,fear,
1/29/2014The Earth AbidesQuatrainnatural disasters,nature,
1/23/2014Ancient DanceSonnetlove,
1/21/2014Happy HourIambic Pentameterdrink,relationship,satire
1/7/2014San Saba SpringtimeSonnetnature,spring,
12/28/2013The WhittlersCowboygrowing up,nostalgia,
12/19/2013Redneck SantaRhymechristmas,
12/17/2013The Tale of the China PoblanaEpichistory,
6/13/2013Ode on a Japanese CommodeRhymehumorous,
5/24/2013The Fruits of their LaborsFree versepolitical,
5/23/2013Damaged GoodsQuatrainabuse,
5/21/2013White Trash NostalgiaQuatraingrowing up,
5/15/2013The Conceit of PoetryCoupletphilosophy,
4/26/2013Empyreal EpiphanyQuatrainnature,night,stars,
4/24/2013Bordeaux RougeLimerickhumorous,
4/18/2013head typistQuatrainhumorous,writing,
4/14/2013The Roughneck SongRhymeday,drink,red,song,work,
3/23/2013Tiger's WoodLimericksports,
3/20/2013A Couple for the AgesSonnethumorous,
3/17/2013Bambino, BambinaLimerickbaby,
3/11/2013The Treachery of ImagesEkphrasis (Ecphrasis)art,image,me,
3/8/2013Pearl of La PazSonnetdeath,grief,
2/17/2013All Hat and No CattleCowboycowboy,humorous,old,time,
2/10/2013Dark TemptressRhymefood,humorous,passion,
2/10/2013Three PillsSonnetlife,me,philosophy,truth,
1/30/2013Icebox DaysRhymechildhood,growing up,humo
1/26/2013The Angel InsideRhymeallegory,angel,art,beauti
1/22/2013Call Me TexCowboycowboy-western,humorous,s
1/10/2013Bobcat MoonRhymeautumn,friendship,loss,mo
12/9/2012Six Man DanceRhymeautumn,football,nostalgia
11/18/2012La BejarenaRhymeangel,beauty,death,histor
8/27/2012Kiss of the EagleRhymeadventure,space,travel,
8/23/2012Delicacy of LeavesRhymehappiness,nature,time,
8/10/2012Keep It Turnin' to the RightRhymeday,earth,funny,life,love
8/10/2012Cruising the DragRhymecar,funny,growing up,high

My Photos

Fav Poems

Poem TitleFormCategories
AmazementFree verseplaces,voice,life,voice,
Pearl DivingQuatrainlove,
Slow Movin TightsBalladme,red,women,
That Night We KissedRondeauromanceheart,night,heart,
A Voice In The WindRhymeimagination,nature,
Within a StormSonnetinspirational,
Sailing the Seas In A Pecan TreeRhymeadventure,old,
Soul of the PoetQuatrainfarewell,poems,poetess,
MuseFree versewords,writing,
Falling upwardRhymeanger,angst,bereavement,b
No Longer Mourn for Me When I Am DeadLyricdeath,faith,religious,

Fav Poets

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