limerick-day

There is a bright guy here named Josh
who wishes your site to be posh.
He’ll show how you rock.
I swear we don’t mock.
Our work’s simply awesome. No bosh!

Lest you think this piffle is completely self-serving (which it probably is), it’s really an example of what we’re celebrating today. That’s right: May 12 is Limerick Day, marking the birthday of 19th-century writer Edward Lear, who popularized this form of, uh, poetry in his “Book of Nonsense.”

Limericks are traditionally naughty or funny and may be named for a game that invoked the place name of Limerick in Ireland.

The limerick, despite its silly origins, is a fairly formal way to boil a complex thought down to a few absurd lines of verse. The limerick has a fairly strict form that includes such fancy terms as “anapest” (the da-da-DUM in the meter). And the rhyme scheme means the lines end with AABBA – the first, second and fifth lines rhyme with one another; and the shorter third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.

Go ahead. Write a limerick. Leave it in a note for your kid or significant other, or better yet, recite it at the dinner table and see how many rhymes you can find for “pizza.” (Good luck!)

The poems we write are so pretty,
we’re taken aback by this ditty.
Each primitive line
may struggle to shine,
for in limerick form, are we witty?

Get Started FAQ