This limerick goes in reverse…

According to some resources, today, May 12. is the Limerick day. It is also believed that origins of limerick poetry form can be traced back to 14th century. They are short, easy to compose, often speaking of sexual, ironic and humorous connotations. The name itself derives from the Irish town of Limerick and by many critics is not respected as a valid poetry form. Nevertheless, in the defense of limericks, it is believed that even Shakespeare wrote them.

If you want to try on your own to write a limerick follow the rules:

  • the last word in lines 1, 2, and 5 must rhyme and contain 8-9 syllables each;
  • the last word in lines 3 and 4 must rhyme and contain 5-6 syllables each.

One of the most famous writers of limericks is Edward Lear and his book of Nonsense, full of funny and witty verses:

“There was an Old Man who supposed,
That the street door was partially closed;
But some very large rats,
Ate his coats and his hats,
While that futile old gentleman dozed.”

or consider this one by Zach Weiner of the comic “Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal”:

“This limerick goes in reverse

Unless I’m remiss

The neat thing is this:

If you start from the bottom-most verse

This limerick’s not any worse.”

Have you tried writing limericks? Share with us in the comments below.


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