Larry Eisenberg, whom we well know,
Has died (and his age is below).
He opined on the news
With limericks, whose
Delightfulness leavens our woe.
Dr. Eisenberg, who died on Tuesday at 99, was for more than a decade one of the most prolific contributors of reader comments on nytimes.com — and, by extension, on the internet as a whole.
But what distinguished him even more than his prodigious output (more than 13,000 comments since 2008) was the form those comments took: verse — mostly limericks — perfectly rhymed, (usually) metrically impeccable and always germane to whatever recent news item had caught his eye.
His daughter, Beth Eisenberg, announced the death. She said the cause was complications of acute myeloid leukemia.
Dr. Eisenberg’s verse made him a cult figure in the lively, atomized, fiercely opinionated parallel universe of The New York Times’s online commenters. As Andrew Rosenthal, then the editorial page editor of The Times, wrote in 2012, Dr. Eisenberg was “the closest thing this paper has to a poet in residence.”
By day, Dr. Eisenberg was a biomedical electrical engineer who had been a longtime faculty member of Rockefeller University in Manhattan. By night, he was a writer whose stories appeared in magazines like Galaxy Science Fiction and Asimov’s Science Fiction.
At every hour, he was a limner of limericks, a form that first seized hold of him at midcentury and refused to relinquish its anapestic grip until the end of his life.
Dr. Eisenberg was the author, with George Gordon, of two collections, both published in 1965: “Limericks for the Loo” and “Limericks for Lantzmen,” a volume of Jewish-inflected