Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanks for visiting our site. Here's some more information about what's happening at The American Center for Sarah Palin Inspirational Limericks:

What is this Maverick Versification?

A “Sarah Palin Inspirational Limerick” may not be your grandparents’ limerick, of the kind popularized by Edward Lear, or, in America, Ogden Nash.

These limericks adopt the subversive spirit of the traditional form, as it would have percolated in folk culture—but with a difference. Instead of bawdy or scatological ends, these limericks offer to use the form’s rhyme scheme (AABBA) and a liberal approximation of its stress-count (33223).

Thus, some our submissions do not “scan” as one might expect.

But the reason their scansion varies from the textbook limerick model is due in large part to the subject (Sarah Palin!) but also due to working with the kind of political and media-generated language that many of these limericks attempt to appropriate, subvert and subtly critique.

A “Sarah Palin Inspirational Limerick,” then, hopefully works to capture some of the sense of multiple meanings behind many of the candidate’s own political rhetoric—which might take us back to the joys of the original tradition: there’s always an undercurrent of suggestion beneath the obvious, literal message of great limericks.

Are there Guidelines?

Yes: traditional and “inspirational” limericks are welcome.

Please do not send limericks that use foul language or sexual innuendo or disrespect Ms. Palin or her family. Thus, please do not send in limericks about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy.

I’m also increasingly hesitant to publish submissions that only deal with the idea that Sarah is a “ditz,” a “bimbo,” or merely a misplaced beauty pageant contestant. Look to the thousands of people she’s drawing to rallies, to her projected presence in the Republican party for, say, the next three decades, or to all of our preoccupations with her every utterance. We’re fooling ourselves if we’re not taking her presence at least somewhat seriously.

As I said above, I’m interested in limericks that digest all the elements of her political choreography: her media representation, her rhetoric, all current events concerning her and Mr. McCain, and how her base (and her detractors) digest all of this.

Please send your freshly-penned limericks and, again, thanks so much for reading our site.