A LIMERICK ABOUT FREE WILL. Brad Leithauser takes the limerick seriously even though he introduces his analysis of Lear’s limericks by acknowledging that there isn’t much literary analysis of limericks: “In all its silliness and deliberate inconsequentiality, the limerick discourages serious literary analysis.” He points out that the sonnet is the only short verse form in English that competes with the limerick in popularity. And he quotes a poem by M.E. Hare which pretty well sums up my understanding of the philosophical debates about free will:
There once was a man who said: â€œDamn!
It is borne in upon me I am
An engine that moves
In predestinate grooves,
Iâ€™m not even a â€˜bus Iâ€™m a tram.â€