As Wodehouse himself wrote, 'Most poets are more to be pitied than censured. What happens is that they are lured on to the downward path by the fatal fascination of the limerick form. It is so terribly easy to compose the first two lines of a limerick, and, that done, the subject finds it impossible to stop. (Compare the case of the tiger cub, which, at first satisfied with a bowl of milk, goes in stritly for blood after taking its initial coolie). And the difficulty of finding a last line prevents these men sticking to limericks, which would be fairly harmless.'
These poems have never before been published in book form. In his novels P. G. Wodehouse tended to show poets and their admirers as delicate attenuated creatures, but he himself wrote a great deal of comic very, which is technically very clever, and hilariously original. Here are poems of political satire (the Parrot poems, parodies of Poe which where sensational in their day), poems about young love, sports and games, and especially the theatre.
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