Hannibal: The limerick version

When I said "poetry" I mean epic, not Limerick!

When I said "poetry" I meant epic, not Limerick!

Loyal readers of the Hannibal Blog will by now be familiar with the wit of one Mr Crotchety, who visits regularly. He has, in this comment, expressed the epic life of the main character of my book–why yes, he has indeed–in the following limerick.

There once was a General named Hannibal,
‘til the Romans found his army untenable.
His tactics were dodgy and favored by chance:
like his father, he walked behind elephants and never wore pants.

Subsequently, Mr Crotchety discovered that the correct rhyme scheme of a limerick is apparently AABBA, and the syllable count 9-9-6-6-9.

With that intelligence, I crafted my own initial response to this impertinence, which was this:

There once was a lad named Hannibal
and I don’t mean that one, the cannibal,
The Alps this one crossed,
then Romans he tossed,
As though he were staging a carnival.

Since that entirely omits the central thesis of my book, I then decided to have another crack at it:

From Carthage he came, the Alps he crossed,
Romans he routed in Trebia’s frost,
he seemed to have won,
at Cannae again,
until it was clear he had instead lost


9 thoughts on “Hannibal: The limerick version

  1. Nice work! You made my whole year. With my new knowledge and extra time on my hands, I redoubled my efforts. I don’t have the patience to count syllables (wait, syllable, that rhymes with Hannibal).

    (1)
    There once was a fighter named Hannibal
    who found elephants on snow undependable
    He rarely wore pants and succeeded by chance
    ‘til his army in Rome was untenable.

    (2)
    There once was a leader named Hannibal
    whose elephants for war were dependable.
    But while crossing some peaks, the snow took ten weeks
    and the pachyderms on skis weren’t reliable.

    (3) Economist’s Limerick:
    There once was a General named Hannibal,
    who found elephants in Rome to be fungible.
    This was a break because the plunder was fake
    and the warriors on sale not refundable.

    (4)
    There once was a weak man from Carthage,
    who rather preferred elephants for marriage.
    The woman he wed sat on his head
    And her dowry sat there like garbage.

    • Gosh, Mr Crotchety, you have again upped the ante. Four more!

      Regarding number 4, i have disappointing news. This “man’s” preferred elephant was named Sirus. It was a male. Nonetheless, we have no evidence that anybody admitted impediments to the bond.

  2. The missus, Ms. Anthropist, being more literate than I, sees where this is headed (but I don’t do sonnets). Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    admit some elephants.

  3. Kluth, I couldn’t resist jumping into the fray.

    An elephant driver named Handball
    Crossed Alps, Rubicon; made landfall.
    But despite brilliant tactics, he just couldn’t hack it:
    Rome stood defiant. Damn it all!

  4. Oh, okay. (A Zen Limerick is Senryu?)

    Hannibal Haiku

    father given grace
    seek a way slip make a way fight
    elephants snow sea

    Hannibal Senryu

    by Tunis nursed
    in hegemony versed
    with Latin cursed

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