Limericks for Limerick Day
What is Limerick Day?
Limerick day takes place on the 12th of May every year, celebrating the birthday of Edward Lear (1812-1888), who was the man responsible for popularising the children's limerick, and bringing the short and fun poetic form back into fashion.
Naturally, it also celebrates the limerick itself, in all its nonsensical but often hilarious glory.
Once you get the hang of it, It's fun to sit down and write limericks. In fact, you might find yourself getting addicted to it. Limericks can take on the qualities of 'earworms' , those silly songs that get stuck in your head. So be careful - and don't say I didn't warn you!
Here's a little limerick I prepared earlier (or rather, wrote off-the-cuff, just for you!)
The limerick is callous and rude,
and really, it shouldn't intrude
but while we're all here
we should give a cheer
before we do see ourselves shooed.
Read on and learn how to write your own limericks!
Image Credit: Wikimedia
Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense Online
- The Project Gutenberg eBook of A Book of Nonsense, by Edward Lear
There was an Old Derry down Derry, who loved to see little folks merry; So he made them a Book, and with laughter they shook At the fun of that Derry down Derry.
Edward Lear originally used the pseudonym "Derry Down Derry" for his Book of Nonsense.
The Old Man of the Coast Limerick
There was an Old Man of the Coast,
Who placidly sat on a post;
But when it was cold he relinquished his hold,
And called for some hot buttered toast.
From The Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear, 1894 edition
Yes, writing a limerick is tricky
but you might be glad it's not sticky
or this page would be stuck
to your fingers, with luck
and that would be terribly icky
How to Write a Limerick
The limerick is an easy form of poetry to learn - it's not as strict as, say, iambic pentameter (think "Shall I compare thee..."), but it has enough in the way of rules to make it a bit of a challenge - great for kids developing their language skills and vocabulary (and adults, too!).
The rhyme scheme of a limerick should be A-A-B-B-A. So the last word of the first two lines and the fifth line should all rhyme, and the last words of the third and fourth lines should rhyme. Like so:
There was an Old Lady whose folly (A)
Induced her to sit in a holly; (A)
Whereon, by a thorn (B)
her dress being torn, (B)
She quickly became melancholy. (A)
Rhythm is also especially important in limericks, since they all follow the same pattern, like this:
DA dum da da dum da da Dum dum
Da dum da da dum da da dum dum
Da da da da dum
Da da da da dum
Da da da da da da da dum dum.
Clear as mud? Try reading a few out loud, and you'll start to see this pattern emerge as you say the words. To put it more concisely, there should be 7 or 8 syllables in the first, second and fifth lines (either 7 or 8 for all of them, not a mixture in the one poem) and 4 or 5 in the third and fourth (again, not a mixture in the one poem).
But don't worry too much about the rules. Limericks are supposed to be fun, first and foremost.
How To Write Lyrical Limericks & Poems That Pay
Somebody has to write those silly limericks and poems you see on greeting cards and souvenirs. And they get paid to do it! That somebody could be YOU!
Learn how to write limericks, poetry and even song lyrics with How To Write Lyrical Limericks & Poems That Pay.
The author of this book has acted as a judge for greeting card companies and he shares his unique approach to creating limericks and verse and how to gain an audience that's willing to pay you for something you enjoy doing - in your spare time!
Have Fun And Learn How To Write Limericks
Can't think of a Word That Rhymes?
Try this online rhyming dictionary for all your limericking needs!
You ought to give limericks a shot;
they're great for the cold or the hot.
If you do not succeed,
at least you won't bleed.
It's not like they really have to rhyme anyway, no-one's going to say anything.