Poetry On Demand

Part of the "Send Two Hippies In Love To San Francisco" Fund.



As a person with Irish origins, I can't believe I forgot to include this one. A limerick is possibly the only verse form to originate in Enlgish. Structurally it has five lines, with lines 1, 2, and 5 consisting of three metrical feet, while lines 3 and 4 each with two feet. The lines are traditionally anapestic, two unaccented syllables followed by an accented one, although you commonly find some variation in that. The rhyme scheme is aabba.

Traditionally, the first line of a limerick introduces a a person and a place (There once was a man from Nantucket...). Limericks also have fun with wordplay, and are almost always bawdy or dirty, after some fashion.

There once was a young lady from Sneem
Who announced things were not what they seemed.
She raised her skirts higher
and blinded the choir;
That's how brightly her family jewels gleamed.


At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Peneli said...

I'm curious: Have you ever seen or managed to write a serious limerick? My 12th grade English teacher challenged his classes to every year, and no one could. Something about the meter and the rhyme scheme always made it funny.


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