#EdenLit - Lessons: Writing A Limerick

Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Writing A Simple Limerick

“There once was a Lass from Madras, Who had quite the cute little ass, It was not round and pink, As one might, in fact, think, But was grey, had long ears, and ate grass."
~Anonymous, after Lear

The simplest form of poetry can, arguably, be the limerick. Often this form of poetry is overlooked or dismissed because the lines seem simplistic and are often full of crude subject matter. The form is, however, an art and done well can be fun to read and makes a great teaching tool! Some of the greatest poets wrote limericks: Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Salmon Rushdie, James Joyce and even the “Great Bard” Himself. If it’s good enough for Shakespeare then we can certainly turn our hands to the humble limerick!

How did the limerick come by its name? I’m glad you asked! The widely accepted explanation is that there is a pub in the town of Limerick, Ireland where the bawdiest little tunes were sung. This is probably why most limericks have the feel of a drinking song, more than likely that’s how they originated! These short and amusing little ditties have been used in Nursery Rhymes and they are perfect for children. Some examples of limericks can be dated back to the fifteenth century.

Ok so we know where it comes from and have one example of a written limerick but how is it composed and what are the rules? First off we need to discuss anapestic lines. Simply put anapestic lines of verse are metered lines of verse composed of two short syllables and then a long one. For example: I once knew a boy from Berlin, who loved to play a violin, he was short then not tall, but he gave it his all, and now he’ll Begin the Beguine.

What makes a limerick work is the structure. You are allowed five anapestic lines:
*Lines 1, 2, and 5 usually have no fewer than seven, and no more than ten syllables that rhyme.
*Lines 3 and 4 have no fewer than 5 and no more than seven syllables that rhyme.

So to deconstruct the little ditty I composed as my example:
*I one knew a boy from Berlin- anapestic and 8 syllables
*Who loved to play a violin- anapestic and 8 syllables
*He was short then not tall- anapestic and 6 syllables
*But he gave it his all- anapestic and 6 syllables
*And now he’ll Begin the Beguine- anapestic and 8 syllables

Some fun facts about limericks: Edward Lear wrote a book called ”A Book of Nonsense” which was published in 1846 by Thomas McLean. It was a cute little book full of limericks that were not at all rude or sexual in nature and it was a very big hit in the 19th Century. The “book” was, in fact, two volumes and there were a total of 72 limericks.

You may recognize one of the limericks from Edward Lear:
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!'

Ok, so I have explained how to do it and given an example. What can you guys come up with? Please make these original, no fair copying! Seriously, if you do find a great limerick and want to share it please credit the author properly.
08/13/2012
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Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
I know a young boy in my home,
Far and wide he does like to roam,
He does not like to sit,
If he does it's a fit,
How I wish he was more like a gnome!



~You know quite and sits in one place? The joys of being the Mom of a two year old.
08/13/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
~BUMP~
08/18/2012
ScarletFox ScarletFox
The Schools are all honorbound
To teach that which is profound;
So with great fanfare
its always "PI r2"
But to great cooks pie is round.

...geeky limericks ftw!

My grandfather wrote and collected limericks before he passed away, so they always have a special place in my heart.
08/19/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by ScarletFox
The Schools are all honorbound
To teach that which is profound;
So with great fanfare
its always "PI r2"
But to great cooks pie is round.

...geeky limericks ftw!

My grandfather wrote and collected limericks before ... More
Awwww how CUTE! Do some more!

The Club wrote such odd limericks
Because they all thought it good kicks
They sat and they thought
Their brain pans got hot
And so they were proud of their licks!
08/22/2012
Total posts: 5
Unique posters: 2