Limerick poetry are humorous poems consisting of five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines only have to have five to seven syllables, and have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm.
Limericks are one of the most fun and well-known poetry examples. No one knows for sure where the name “limerick” comes from, but most people assume it is related to the county of Limerick, in Ireland.
The reason limericks are so much fun is because they are short, rhyming, funny, and have a bouncy rhythm that makes them easy to memorize.
Limericks, like all poetic forms, have a set of rules that you need to follow. The rules are fairly simple:
They are five lines long.
Lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme with one another.
Lines 3 and 4 rhyme with each other.
They have a distinctive rhythm
They are usually funny.
When you read or recite a limerick is that the first two lines and the last line have three “beats” in them, while the third and fourth lines have two “beats.
Because he helped bring them to fame, Edward Lear is one of the world's most favorite limerick writers. His limericks often consisted of stories about an old man:
“There was an Old Man with
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!’”
There was an old man of Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket;
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.
More commonly known limerick examples in the nursery rhymes we all love so much. Hickory Dickory Dock is an example:
“Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
And down he run,
Hickory, dickory, dock.”
“There was an old man from Peru
Who dreamt he was eating his shoe.
He awoke in a fright
In the middle of the night
And found it was perfectly true.”
There was a young lady of Lucca
Whose lovers completely forsook her;
She ran up a tree
And said "Fiddle-de-dee!"
Which embarrassed the people of Lucca.