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This March Let's Celebrate the Limerick

The Limerick: 1700 Examples, with Notes Variants and Index
 Lecherous Limericks

by Isacc Asimov

The limerick is said to have been invented by soldiers returning from France to the Irish town of Limerick in the 1700's. A limerick is a five-line poem written with one couplet and one triplet. A couplet is a two-line rhymed poem; a triplet is a three-line rhymed poem.  It's impossible to define limerick without saying that they are fun.  Authors such as Isaac Asimov, Shakespeare (you'll find two in King Lear and Othello), WH Auden, and John Ciardi, have played with with the form. You should too. They are easy to remember, anyone can create one, and most --the best--have a punch line with an emphasis so clear,  you can hear the drum beat after the last line.

A: What is a limerick, Mother?
A: It's a form of verse, said brother
B: In which lines one and two
B: Rhyme with five when it's through
A: And three and four rhyme with each other.

Edward Lear Wrote Scads of Limericks for Children

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!'

The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense.

Edward Lear, Vivie...


Edward Lear, Book of Nonsense

Limericks that are not for children can still be childish.

I sat next to the Duchess at tea.

 It was just as I feared it would be:

Her rumblings abdominal

 were simply phenomenal,

And everyone thought it was me.

Okay--we'd be less than honest if we didn't admit

 Limericks can be bawdy.

he limerick's callous and crude,
Its morals distressingly lewd;
It's not worth the reading
By persons of breeding -
It's designed for us vulgar and rude.

by Limerick Man

There once was an artist named Saint,
Who swallowed some samples of paint.
All shades of the spectrum
Flowed out of his rectum
With a colourful lack of restraint

by Limerick Man

Find  lessons on writing limericks

Want to go Irish this March by exploring fiction: find previous featured Anthologies:



Literary brilliance is one of the most enduring and cherished of Irish stereotypes


 Irish Anthology

Emerald Magic