Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday Poetry Stretch - Limericks

I'm feeling the need for a bit of humor this week, so let's exercise our poetry muscles by writing some limericks. Limericks are five line poems that were made popular in English by Edward Lear.

Limericks not only have rhyme, but rhythm. The last words of the first, second, and fifth lines all rhyme, and the last words of the third and fourth lines rhyme. This means the rhyme scheme is AABBA. The rhythm of a limerick comes from a distinct pattern. Lines 1, 2, and 5 generally have seven to ten syllables, while lines 3 and 4 have only five to seven syllables. Here is an example from Edward Lear.
There was an Old Man with a beard,
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!'
I usually get my fill of limericks each weekend while listening to Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me. Give a listen and see if you can complete the limericks. Then continue your warm-up and learn how to write a limerick, read a limerick lesson plan, or write an instant limerick.

Here are two limericks I wrote for my middle school science students.
A crocodile lived in the Nile
Near the bank he swam for a while
   A girl leaned o'er the water
   He jumped up and caught her
And ate with a cold-blooded smile.

Sad Sue swallowed bite after bite
But her weight was incredibly light
   She ate all her dinner
   Yet got thinner and thinner
But fat was that darn parasite!
So, will you join us this week? What kind of limericks will you write? Post your effort(s) on your blog and then leave a link in the comments. Once we have some poems, I'll link them all here.


  1. Tricia,

    Here's the URL to the limerick I dedicated to you last April:

    Hope you had a great time in Chicago!

  2. Hi. I wandered in via

    I'm actually addicted to writing limericks. Since you're a teacher, here's one I did
    related to tests.