Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of the holiday, I give you Wordy Tips & Tidings' blog post about limericks, a few days early.
Top of the mourning to ya. Raise your stout of Guinness or shot of Irish whiskey and let’s toast to a life filled with good fortune and good company. Kiss the Blarney Stone and all those crazy shenanigans. Sorry, those frisky leprechauns made me say it.
A limerick is a funny, nonsensical, sometimes rude poem of five lines. It consists of three long verses and two short lines using the rhyming scheme of AABBA. The limerick tells a succinct tale.
A rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyme that comes at the end of each verse or line in poetry.
AABBA rhyming means that the first two lines rhyme with each other.
The next (usually shorter) two lines rhyme with each other.
And the last line rhymes with the first two lines.
So . . .
1st, 2nd, and 5th lines end in rhyming words
3rd and 4th lines rhyme
(I’m trying here, my little leprechauns.)
Limericks follow a three-syllable metrical pattern in poetry in which two unstressed syllables are followed by a stressed syllable. This is called an anapest.
If you follow the structure, you can compose a limerick about anything. Some are silly, some are rude, and some are downright vulgar.
First comes the subject and an optional setting. The subject must show up in line one of the limerick.
Since limericks are meant to be humorous, dump your main character into a ridiculous situation. The sillier, the better.
Don’t forget the twist, all limericks end with a twist.
There was a young man of Killarney
Who was chock full of what is called blarney
He would sit on a stile
And tell lies by the mile
Would this dreadful young man of Killarney
A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?
There was a young lady named Perkins,
Who just simply doted on gherkins.
In spite of advice,
She ate so much spice,
That she pickled her internal workins’.
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 far as the bucket, Nantucket.
“May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.”- Irish Blessing