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Happy St. Patrick's Day Contest!

By Mary Rotman
March 17, 2009 | Comments: 30

piperedbeard-main_Full.jpgIn celebration of St. Patrick's Day, we've decided to launch a limerick contest. The standard form of a limerick is a poem with five lines, with the first, second and fifth lines having nine syllables and rhyming with one another, and the third and fourth lines having five or six syllables and rhyming separately.

Today, we're encouraging you to write a limerick that is either tech-themed or that references O'Reilly Media or one (or more) of our books. Anything goes, so long as it fits the standard form of a limerick and is a PG rating. We'll run the contest all day long and then randomly pick three winners out of a hat to win a free ebook of your choice.

Have fun, and be sure to check back later to see what other creative minds have come up with!

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there once was a publisher in sebastapol
who's surname lead straight to a watering hole
of books for the brain
and a media train
those who sip from this treat will on the whole rock and roll!

So why should one read O'Reilly?
Because the books are smart and shiny!
And of web-two-dot-oh
O'Reilly sure knows;
So programmers: do not be whiney.

I once knew a lad who coded
Read manuals 'til his head exploded
We gathered the brains
And to make him sane
Lots of O'Reilly books were unloaded

This morning I heard a Twitter
I looked through Twhirl and go figure:
Contest by O'Reilly?
New eBook? Blimy!
This poem better be a winner.

There once was a programming gent
Whose money was so wisely spent
On books from O'Reilly
Which had been praised highly
And his pay went up fifty percent

The coder knew not where to turn
And his co-workers all were quite stern
His technical plight
Was finally set right
When an O'Reilly tip he finally did learn

There was was an industry beleaguered
By readers dispersed and uneager
But a stalwart few
Remained ever true
And the pickings? They're not meager!

(Full disclosure: I wrote and submitted this to a Twitter pal earlier today. But it deserves to "live" here.)

There once was a lad called O'Reilly
They say he invented the smiley
But this man was no fool
He made tech books seem cool
Now he stacks his coins in a piley

Which language to use? Which one should I know?
Pascal, FORTRAN, VB, or FoxPro?
Wait! Must get serious!
Can't be delirious!
.NET is the way I've get to go....

There was an old woman with a hash
who couldn't find a path through her cache
she consulted o'reilly,
and, oh, blimey,
she completed her task with a bash!

A web-wand'ring flibbertigibbet
saw Rotman's attempt to solicit
a poem - not too naughty -
from all twitterati
and thought "this is one, I'll submit it."

I once read an O’Reilly tech book,
with Bash it allowed me to cook.
My scripts in the shell
they ran oh so well,
and the lessons it taught they just took.

Skeptical at first, I tried Head First
Now all other books, they make my head burst
Dry, boring, and lifeless
Some times even a mess
But Head First, I shall always love you first

Mr. Publisher Encyclopedia
used to call his digs O'Reilly Media.
He put rhinos and rooks
on the front of his books
and he'd say, "Let's be useful, not greedia!"

A publisher known for his colophon
(each book sports an animal inked upon),
Tim O'Reilly by name
staged a limerick game
but most of the ones he got were pretty bad, really.

I could get into a geek tizzy
but frankly I'm much too busy
To give Facebook much thought
and complain I should naught
That the new layout makes me dizzy

There once was a publisher, technical
whose books tend to cause quite a spectacle
When reading in kind
They open your mind
With ideas that are quite a heck-to-kill

There once was a Seattlean girl.
From O'Reilly guides she learned her Perl.
Through nights cold and damp
her syntax would cramp
each time she tried to rewrite an URL.

There once was a young man from Wales
who wanted a website in Rails.
He checked out the Tarpan
and in less than the span
of a week his new app never fails.

(never knew how to pronounce Tarpan before).

A twitterer savvy and deft
Tweeted up, down, rightside and left,
But in perpetual tweeting
Found real life too fleeting--
So Flickr'd each screen that he left.

A programmer once in old Austin,
distressed by what his books were costin',
knew he would be sorry
to pass up Safari,
and now he has shelves to get lost in.

There was a young woman named Charity
possessed of a vision with clarity.
She pondered and thought,
and created a bot,
that ushered in the singularity.

Hard it is, to finally admit
to my website I could not commit.
I read some Ruby,
a tech so spooky,
my day job I was driven to quit.

A mainframe engineer in Boise
retuned his machine to be noisy:
"If I can't hear it run,
how can I have fun,
when I'm with my son in New Joisey?"

A young sysadmin from helsink
was tempted to drown in the drink
she was losing her mind
the DN wouldn't bind
She was rescued by checking the Mink

an English degree from way back
provides excellent skills for this hack
A subject, a critter,
an evening to fritter...
are limericks better than crack?

A heartbroken hacker in Beantown
had little to show for his renown.
When outsourced to Delhi,
his brain turned to jelly
from the Guinnesses that he knocked down.

A reader of books made the old way
Turns slowly to ebooks of this day.
Yet words give her a thrill--
Cause her heart to stand still,
So she downloads with little delay.

There once was a wee girl, from Kilkee
Who once fell down, up from a tree
"O'Reilly" she sighed
as she lay there and cried
Your books are far too heavy for me.

"Are limericks better than crack?"
is what she inquired way back,
But all I can say,
of cracks and foreplay,
Is read O'Reilly and nibble a snack.


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