Limericks--the naughty side of poetry

Author:
Publish date:

Okay, I admit it: I'm not going to be writing any dirty limericks, though I'm sure you've all heard a few in your time. And I can't really stop anyone from sharing one or two below in the comments (that's what they're there for, I guess--that is, for dirty limericks).

The origin of the limerick is shrouded in some mystery, but most sources seem to point to the early 18th century--one theory being that soldiers returning from France to the Irish town of Limerick started the form, the other theory pointing to the 1719 publication of Mother Goose Melodies for Children. Either way, Edward Lear popularized the form in the mid-19th century.

Basically, the limerick is a five-line poem consisting of a triplet split by a couplet. That is, lines 1, 2, and 5 are a bit longer and rhyme, while the shorter lines of 3 and 4 rhyme. After studying many effective limericks, there is not a precise syllable count per line, but the norm is about 8-10 syllables in the longer lines and around 6 syllables in the shorter lines.

Here's one of my basic examples:

My eldest son's scared of small flames,
and I know just what is to blame:
those Frankenstein movies,
though they can be goofy,
burn monster and my son the same.

*****

Here are some other resources related to the limerick:

*****

Check out other Poetic Forms.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a remix poem.

Omeara_11:27

Going Viral: Writing From the Hopeful Heart

Author Kitty O'Meara shares her experience of going viral online and how that lead to some exciting publishing opportunities.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a what's next poem.

plot_twist_story_prompts_an_invitation_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: An Invitation

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, give a character an invitation.

Vintage WD_Conder Soule 11:26

Vintage WD: Poetry without Rhyme—Or Even Thees and Thous

In this article from 1977, children’s writer and poet Jean Conder Soule explores the question, “How will I know when I’ve written a poem?”

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a thankful poem.

Richard_11:24

Building Better Worlds: Five Tips to Guide Your Planning Process

Writer and WD editor Moriah Richard shares her top advice to help you fight world-building overwhelm and organize your story.

March_11:25

Why I Write Mysteries

Mystery writer Nev March shares how she found herself writing historical mysteries and what she hopes readers will get from her storytelling.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

For the 2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets write a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write an exaggerated poem.