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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 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

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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!

Have Fun And Learn How To Write Limericks

Get this Limerick on a Magnet by spikeys_studio

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.

Write Your Own Limerick!

Brandi from Maryland on April 28, 2012:

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! :)

Rose Jones on April 21, 2012:

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

Rankography on April 17, 2012:

Nice, I learn something new everyday on Squidoo!

cmadden on December 15, 2011:

Love 'em. Thanks for the lens.

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on November 23, 2011:

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.

CrazyPirate on October 24, 2011:

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 on October 22, 2011:

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

ananimoss2 on October 17, 2011:

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

JoshK47 on October 17, 2011:

I love limericks! :)

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on October 08, 2011:

I like 'em!

EMangl on August 14, 2011:

for me this lens

makes a lot of sense

did not know him before

have to find a store.

Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on April 23, 2011:

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 from New York on April 23, 2011:

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 on April 23, 2011:

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!

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