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Limericks for Limerick Day

Updated on April 30, 2012

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 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

There was an Old Lady...
There was an Old Lady...

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!

How To Write Lyrical Limericks & Poems That Pay
How To Write Lyrical Limericks & Poems That Pay

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

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.

Write Your Own Limerick!

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    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      LOL! Love your limerick above...super fun! These are my son's favorite. We did a poetry project last year and he loved writing limericks. Great lens! :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      Really, really fun - I'm glad I came to this. I love the Black Widow spider's way of dealing with marital problems.

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 6 years ago

      Nice, I learn something new everyday on Squidoo!

    • profile image

      cmadden 6 years ago

      Love 'em. Thanks for the lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I love Limericks and read a lot of Edward Lear's when I was younger. He was a brilliantly funny man, and I wonder how much less silly the world would be if it were not for the Limerick.

    • profile image

      CrazyPirate 6 years ago

      Aye, my Special Lass once wrote in to a limerick contest. No prizes for her. Too much of an adult theme is what it was tho she will deny it.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      I find them impossible to do, but I do love to hear them.

    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 6 years ago

      I wouldn't even try...but I love to read them!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I love limericks! :)

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I like 'em!

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 6 years ago

      for me this lens

      makes a lot of sense

      did not know him before

      have to find a store.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Limerick Day is a new one for me

      There are so many odd holidays to see

      So I came and laughed

      Left a blessing and (fill in with word that rhymes with laughed)

      And then ran out of clever, sorry.

      Cute lens - Feel free to add it to which ever plexo you think it best fits on my humor angel lens.

    • jodijoyous profile image

      jodijoyous 7 years ago from New York

      There once was a squidling called Lady

      With tentacles quite long and wavy

      She produced a new lens

      To be read on ipads in dens

      Or by sailors on subs in the navy

    • GoodinDevelopme profile image

      GoodinDevelopme 7 years ago

      If I was more talented I'd rhyme

      But sadly the attempt would be a crime

      So as clearly I'm not

      I'll leave what I've got

      And exit as silent as a mime

      Page looks great, enjoyed it!