The 6th Floor’s Poet in Residence

The only limerick I have ever really appreciated was written in Bob Marshall’s 1981 book, “Diary of a Yankee-Hater.” It was about Billy Martin, the former Yankees manager who in a drunken rage attacked an honest-to-goodness marshmallow salesman. It was Martin’s last transgression in a Yankees uniform (for a few years, at least) and the limerick went like this:

There was a marshmallow salesmen named Cooper
Who thought Billy was drunk to a stupor
He neglected to duck
When he said, “Yankees suck!”
And was caught by the skipper’s last blooper.

Then I encountered the work of Larry Eisenberg, appropriately enough, while reading the comments on a colleague’s blog post. There are many ways to describe Eisenberg’s contributions to The Times’s online community, but the best one is also the most accurate: pure poetry. Eisenberg adds clever limericks to many of the posts on this blog, but he has clearly made an impact in many other places where reader responses are encouraged. His posts aren’t noteworthy merely for their quality, but also for their quantity and the speed with which he writes them. Clearly, Eisenberg needs no encouragement.

Here are some of Larry’s recent hits:

In response to “This Sunday: Nocera Shoots, Scores”:

Nocera on Bair is a gem,
The inside dope? Right from La Femme,
Frank, uncompromising,
The culprits chastising,
Ms Bair’s clearly crème de la crème!

9:46 a.m., July 11, 2011

In response to “Sentence of the Week, Heat-Wave Edition”:

Was there no Life before there was Twitter?
Was it stodgy, lackluster or bitter?
I find Life too fleeting
To spend time in Tweeting,
I’m a face-to-face kind of a critter!

4:55 p.m., June 13, 2011

In response to “This Week’s Magazine: A Picture Show”:

Those photos of Singers, I rue,
Otolaryngolical view,
It’s ghastly to see,
Between you and me,
I’m fearful that I might fall through!

8:32 a.m., May 22, 2011

In response to “Superspud Me”:

Potatoes are my bon ami,
Mashed, roasted, however it be,
Downgrade the Potato?
A silly, sour credo,
We’re bonded, Potatoes and me.

2:18 p.m., May 26, 2011

In response to “Sentence of the Week, Neanderthal Edition”:

This Nation as it is today,
Has Neanderthals on full display,
They seem over thirty,
Their tactics are dirty,
Why is it they won’t go away?

2:11 p.m., May 31, 2011

I e-mailed Larry and asked him to describe himself to our readers. Appropriately (and 20 minutes later) this was his response:

A nonagenarian, I,
A sometime writer of sci-fi,
Biomed engineer,
Gen’rally of good cheer,
With lim’ricks in ready supply.

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