Definitely Limericks

I wrote these for the Omnificent English Dictionary in English Form, a magnificent, ambitious, and slightly insane attempt to write a limerick for every word in the English language, one letter group at a time. You can see my additions and revisions there, but I like to keep them here as well; the menu below leads to permanent pages for each letter group. You can also see some co-written pieces, an area especially aimed at OEDILFers, and a page of limerick biographies of famous artists. One of these limericks, and a video of me reading it, featured in an AP article about the OEDILF at the end of 2017, and briefly on the Washington Post and New York Times sites. Two featured in The RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poetry, edited by Celia Warren (A&C Black, 2011).

As a term, GXL is quite strange:
It’s a Language for standard eXchange
Of Graphs, with no E.
It’s like XML, see,
Where the X and the E rearrange.

GXL (Graph eXchange Language) isn’t just like XML (eXtensible Markup Language): it’s a sublanguage of XML, used to support interoperability between graph-based software tools.

“Stick around for my GVT sermon,”
Said Arnold. “The way to determine
A workout for all
Is to simply recall
That the best bodybuilders speak German.”

Even if they’re Austrian. German Volume Training, commonly referred to as the 10x10 workout, is a form of weight training employing high set counts and moderate repetitions.

Liquid Swords is a classic, some say,
By the Genius they call GZA:
The Wu-Tang Clan rapper
Made a gritty foot-tapper
That hip-hop fans still love today.

GZA’s 1995 solo album features on many lists of essential hip-hop albums.

Grand Theft Auto (the game) is such fun!
Here’s the car that you stole, and a gun.
Now go do something shitty
In Liberty City,
And when the cops notice you, run.

Grand Theft Auto or GTA (1997) and its many successors, set in thinly-veiled versions of New York (Liberty City), Miami (Vice City) and San Francisco (San Andreas), is one of the most popular franchises in video game history. The latest instalment, Grand Theft Auto V (2013), is the second best-selling video game of all time, after Minecraft.

GST: goods and services tax.
When ideologues take an axe
To progressive taxation,
Their plan for the nation
Is to hike GST to the max.

A value-added tax, known in some countries as a goods and services tax, is similar to sales tax but is levied on the price of a product or service at each stage of production, distribution, or sale to the end consumer. It is a form of regressive taxation, imposing a relatively greater burden on the poor.

GST is an indirect tax.
When a right-leaning government lacks
Enough income, this charge
Becomes ever more large:
The flat tax a lean treasury backs.

My amygdala messes with me
By incessantly making me see
Little things as a threat.
I don’t think they are, yet
Get upset by its urges to flee.

A complex structure of cells in the middle of the brain, the amygdala is primarily involved in the processing of emotions and memories associated with fear. It preempts the prefrontal cortex, which regulates our thoughts, actions and emotions, in moments of stress, leading to anxious or angry responses.

Attaching the head of an eagle
To a leonine form gives a regal
Chimera: this griffin
Makes enemies stiffen
With terror. It’s almost illegal.

It’s certainly imaginary. This creature, known for guarding treasures and priceless possessions, dates back to Ancient Egypt and featured in the mythology of Persia, Greece, and mediaeval Europe. It was seen in Christendom to be a symbol of Jesus, and in heraldry of courage and boldness.

Van Gogh was a master of light,
Painting sunflowers and stars in the night
In luminous whorls.
Every canvas unfurls
Yet another magnificent sight.

In his lifetime (1853–1890) the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh was considered a madman, but he posthumously came to be seen as a misunderstood genius. His paintings had a profound influence on twentieth-century art.

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