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Celebrating UK National Limerick Day (May 12th)

Updated on May 14, 2017
Source

Happy National Limerick Day!

That's right, today, the UK celebrates the birthday of poet Edward Lear (May 12, 1812 – Jan. 29, 1888) who popularised the limerick when he published The Book of Nonsense in 1846.

For those who don't know, a limerick is a short, unusually nonsensical poem, comprised of five lines. The first two lines rhyme with the fifth line and the third and fourth also rhyme. The five lines follow the rhythm of the anapestic trimeter.

As an example, here is one of the most well known limericks ever written. You probably didn't even realise it was a limerick:

Hickory, dickory, dock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

Superhero Limericks

As my contribution to National Limerick Day, here are three limericks based on famous superheroes.

The Flash

There was a superhero called Flash

Who could make a very fast dash.

He ran past a car

And into a bar,

Then drank a quick beer and got smashed.

The Flash
The Flash | Source

There was an Old Man with a beard,

Who said, 'It is just as I feared!

Two Owls and a Hen,

Four Larks and a Wren,

Have all built their nests in my beard!'

— Edward Lear

The Hulk

A big angry brute known as Hulk

Was famous for his massive green bulk,

But when his anger subsided

His name was derided,

So he'd sit in the corner and sulk.

The Hulk
The Hulk | Source

There was an Old Person of Ewell,

Who chiefly subsisted on gruel;

But to make it more nice

He inserted some mice,

Which refreshed that Old Person of Ewell.

— Edward Lear

Ironman

My favourite Avenger is Ironman,

He flies through the air like Pan Am.

But his secret to power

Is self-raising flour,

And his suit's made from old pots and pans.

Ironman
Ironman | Source

Deadpool

The anti-hero called Deadpool

Just doesn't follow the rules.

Though his mouth is uncouth

He's a seeker of truth,

And is certainly nobody's fool.

Deadpool
Deadpool | Source

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    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What can I say, Shauna :) ? I never thought of Hickory Dickory Dock as a Limerick either, but it is obvious that it is. Thanks for reading these.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 months ago from Central Florida

      John, you're a master! And, you're right: I never knew Hickory, Dickory Doc was a limerick.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad you enjoyed these limericks, Ann. The only reason I knew it was Uk National Limerick Day was because I read it on Facebook :) but I like writing limericks so used it as an excuse for some more. Oh, I read a few saucy ones while researching don't worry ;)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 months ago from SW England

      Great limericks, John! I didn't even realise it was our day for celebrating Edward Lear; it passed me by whilst sorting the house!

      Following on from bill, limericks are often a bit saucy but you've managed to give us tasteful examples - well done, John!

      Ann

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Nithya.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 6 months ago from Dubai

      Loved the limericks, enjoyed reading.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 6 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      (Rapturous applause - and all that jazz): You've convinced me, John. We share mercenary traits - there's a bit of the Viking in you after all.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you MsDora. Glad you enjoyed.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the information on Edward Lear. The name is well known , but knowing his connection to the limerick will make him more likely to be remembered. Jodah, I like your limericks too.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Patty, I added the Deadpool limerick to the hub. Thanks for the prompt.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 months ago from North America

      Thank you, John - that is wonderful!

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      One for Patty:

      The anti-hero called Deadpool

      Just doesn't follow the rules.

      Though his mouth is uncouth

      He's a seeker of truth,

      And is certainly nobody's fool.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha, Eric. No, not all. Only the popular ones.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 months ago from North America

      What fun!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very cool. And I thought all limericks were dirty ;-)

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      You asked, "Let me know what you think,"

      I relpied while sipping a drink,

      "Me pay for my work?

      That sounds like a lurk.

      And they said the titanic can't sink."

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 months ago from North America

      Deadpool is a superhero with potty mouth and dark humor. Lol. Played by Ryan Reynolds.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 6 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      The Board was out for a while on that one, John... OK, they decided you could have the job as long as you pay them for the work you do. Let me know what you think... (that's your starting line).

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Martin.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 6 months ago from San Francisco

      my compiments

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Patty, thank you for that generous comment. Yes, same here with reading Lear during childhood. What is "Deadpool?" I am sure I should know.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 months ago from North America

      I am delighted by your own limericks, John! I read Lear all my childhood, even high school. Deadpool needs a limerick :)

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Linda. Glad you had fun with these limericks.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing a fun article, John. I enjoyed reading your limericks.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing that, Alan. Those limericks are wonderful.

      The superhero verses were written by me,

      I had to think of somethings you see.

      Although not the best,

      They may pass the test

      Disguised as limericks they be.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 6 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      "There was an old git from Killarney

      Who said he'd just kissed the Blarney.

      His wife'd just run off

      With a Dubliner toff,

      And all he had left was a sarney!"

      Welcome to the wunnerful world of Paddy rhymes, eh? I grew up on the stuff, even if I was near Middlesbruff. Very popular, they were - still are - around that area (lots of Paddy migrants in the old days, building railways and such in the industrial North).

      Let's have one from thee,

      John Hansen I see

      You might have the gift

      To gather and sift,

      But can you riddle-me-ree?

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, it was fun to write this, Mike. I need to write these light hearted pieces now and then. Have a great weekend.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad you enjoyed this whonu. Thanks for sharing in the fun.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Cheers, bro. I like to bring out the child in me now and then.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad it gave you a chuckle. Thanks for reading, Nadine.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      You are now, Larry :) Thanks.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      HI John - That was a fun read. You had some fun with this and that is how it should be.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 6 months ago from United States

      I enjoyed the read and the entertainment. Thanks for sharing this fun celebration. whonu

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 6 months ago from london

      Nice! A childlike piece for me. Quite charming!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 6 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Ha ha well done. Very creative

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 6 months ago from Oklahoma

      Wasn't aware of the occasion:-)

      Great read!

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Mark. Your comment is much appreciated.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Louise. I didn't either until I read it earlier today. Lear inspired a lot of my poetry.

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 6 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Loved the limericks. All were right on point. My favorite was The Flash. Thanks

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 6 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I love Lears Limericks. I didn't know it was his birthday today.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Ah, the Nantucket one. I read that earlier, Bill. I think it may have been the censored version though :) Thanks for being the first to read this one.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The first limerick I ever learned was one about an old man from Nantucket, which I can't repeat here. Yours are much more acceptable. :)