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There once was an old butterfly,
Its wings the colour of sky.
Though dainty in form
It stirred up a storm
Whenever it started to fly.
This deviation is one in a set. For a little background, and a list of the complete set, please visit my Chaos Butterfly journal entry.

This is the first in the series; I composed this, more or less, in my head on the drive to work.

The butterfly in the thumbnail is from Butterfly Stock, by ~cajun-stock.
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:icontalescaper:
Talescaper Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Fun stuff. I was wondering though... isn't a limerick supposed to start with a character from a place? I could be mistaken though and I do like the concept described, creating a sort of tragic humour.
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2005  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh ... and thanks! :D
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2005  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"There once was a man from Nantucket..."

I'm not aware of that being a requirement, although most of the "traditional" ones (and, of course, most of the rude ones) that you hear often do follow that format...

But hey, let's ask google! ;-)

[link]
[link]
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:icontalescaper:
Talescaper Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Google knows best :P To tell the truth, I've come across very little 'serieus' limericks. Yet. Works such as this though inspire me to consider them. I like the sort of humor you're using a lot, I dabble in simular concepts myself :)
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:iconultimape:
Ultimape Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2005  Hobbyist Digital Artist
whoo, you just reminded me of an old poem, my first poem I've ever written as a poem... I'm going to go post it now. (heh, i memoriezed it ;D)
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:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2004   Writer
Hehe that's really clever, the reason I love limericks is that in so few lines and with such a simple scheme the poet is able to stir up emotions through humour. This is quite an unusual limerick actually, since the subject matter is not completely humorous or preposterous and the little story conveyed by the lines isn't nonsensical or silly. My favourite lines are the last three, it just hits home really powerfully; also ending the poem with "whenever it started to fly" is quite dramatic, it may seem like a simple statement but it still carries a note of drama and some kind of cosmic importance.
The first line is well rhythmed, you use "once was" instead of "was once", as the latter would break the flow of three stressed syllables; only the word 'old' seems a little out of place here, like it's there to fill space instead of being used for some contextual purpose. But 'old butterfly' does ocnvey an interesting image, of fantasy mixed with wisdom or something like it. The second line is actually a little problematic; instead of continuing the triple-stress fluidly (the optimal amount of syllables in total would be nine), you leave out not only syllables but whole words. "The colour of sky" for one looks a little off without the word 'the', and though '"its wings the colour of sky" works grammatically without the word 'were', it doesn't work well here as you would be leaving two words out instead of just one. But having one imperfect line in a brilliant limerick is not a terrible calamity. ;)
The next three lines are really wonderful, as I said before; you'ce truly nailed the syllables here, the rhythm just rolls right off the tongue and makes it easier to focus on the excellent word-choices and imagery. The word 'though' alone creates the idea of something very small with very great powers! In the last line, 'started to fly' words really well in terms of rhyme and context, even though it is a little too active a tense. In any other situation something like "whenever it r aised both its wings", which would convey the same idea more passively and still keep the rhythm, would be better; but the choice you made here suits the format and the context of the poem truly excellently. :)
A lovely limerick, and an interesting one too because of its somewhat serious tone. Great job! :clap:
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been wanting to thank you for this great comment since I first saw it, but have not managed to find the time until now. (I did follow your sig link to the Comment Revolution page, a concept I heartily agree with but rarely feel confident -- or have time for -- making such comments myself...)

"you use "once was" instead of "was once", as the latter would break the flow of three stressed syllables"

I think you give me too much credit: as far as I'm concerned "There once was a [man from Nantucket]" is the traditional way to begin a limerick, and while my knowledge of "traditional limericks" may not be all that extensive, I have always been rather a traditionalist at heart. Having said that, I can clearly see that "was once" is rythmically bad...

"only the word 'old' seems a little out of place here"

I think it was originally a space-filler -- but one which I felt worked once it was in there. Serendipity, I guess.

"The second line is actually a little problematic ... though '"its wings the colour of sky" works grammatically without the word 'were', it doesn't work well here as you would be leaving two words out instead of just one."

Indeed. It needs something more, but then I feel I really would be trying to shoe-horn in a word which didn't belong just for the sake of the rhythm. Obviously "... colour of the sky" would destroy the rhythm. At first glance it would seem that "its wings were the colour of sky" is the optimal solution -- and I almost agreed to the point of changing the poem to exactly that -- but after careful consideration I feel that the "were" would weaken the line. It makes it more passive (which may not be a bad thing here) but it would also split the first wo-line sentence into two separate sentences (or at the very least require a semi-colon at the end of the first line rather than a comma. I guess that's a good argument for leaving the punctuation out of poetry, but it would still turn it from one complete (but modified) idea into two distinct ideas. I think.

A bit of a quandary, huh? :D

"Great job!"

Thankyou. I really appreciate the thought you put into your comment, too, so thanks again...
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:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2004   Writer
Hey thanks for the reply! :D I had forgotten about this, but I recall now that I really liked the piece alot. :thumbsup:

You're right, the problematic line is practically unsolvable, without some hefty editing which would really destroy the originality that is mainly the soul of the piece. It isn't a horrible line as it is, just a bit of a sore thumb. ;)

You're welcome, it was a pleasure to read. :)
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:iconsiedhr:
siedhr Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
I love limericks. I do. and this is a very good one, I think.
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. This is actually my very first attempt at a limerick... ;-)
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:iconphoenixreal:
phoenixreal Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2004  Professional General Artist
Very nice, don't see many limericks. Not a lot of writers are willing to stick to form.... Great job though.
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, thanks. :-)

It is somewhat surprising the number of submissions here in the limerick section which just ain't limericks... :o
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:iconmrcup:
mrcup Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2004  Professional Digital Artist
Thats nifty.

If you live in Melbourne or Brisy this week you want that damn bug squashed!
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed. Someone ought to step on it! (I spent most of yesterday without power! :o)

:-)
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:iconcajun-stock:
cajun-stock Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2004
thats cute!
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:iconmastermindg:
mastermindg Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2004
hahah..clever :nod:
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