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12-09 - M.L. Buchman

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ode to Saint Patrick’s Day What is a Limerick?

Limericks are a misunderstood form of poetry.  Many poetry purists don’t consider Limericks as poetry at all.

The basis for a limerick is as follows:
Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another.
Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.
It can be funny, bawdy, sad or sexual.

Nursery rhymes are often in limerick form.  Limerick is a town in Ireland where the first limericks were cultivated as an art form.  Many of the sexual or bawdy limericks were created in pubs in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by drunken patrons.

For your enjoyment I am giving you some of the limericks from Edward Lear's “Book of Nonsense” which was published by Thomas McLean on 10th February 1846. There were altogether seventy-two limericks in two volumes. These limericks have proven very popular over the years.


hoto© 2002 Jean Brandau, licensed to About.com.


There was a Young Lady of Ryde,
Whose shoe-strings were seldom untied.
She purchased some clogs,
And some small spotted dogs,
And frequently walked about Ryde.




There was an Old Lady of Chertsey,
Who made a remarkable curtsey;
She twirled round and round,
Till she sunk underground,
       Which distressed all the people of Chertsey.

There was an Old Man of Kilkenny,
Who never had more than a penny;
He spent all that money,
In onions and honey,
That wayward Old Man of Kilkenny.

Their was a Young Lady of Bute,
Who played on a silver-gilt flute;
She played several jigs,
To her uncle's white pigs,
That amusing Young Lady of Bute.

There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, "I'm afloat, I'm afloat!"
When they said, "No! you ain't!"
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.


There was a Young Lady whose chin,
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp,
And purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.
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 hope you enjoyed or at least got a laugh out of one of these Limericks!  I know I did!  My favorite was the last limerick.

 Do you have a favorite limerick or rhyme?

 Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to everyone!

8 comments:

Paty Jager said...

I adore limericks! Great post!

Judith Ashley said...

Interesting post, Diana. The second book in my The Sacred Women's Circle series opens in Limerick, Ireland. I'd love to go back as the West of Ireland is one of my favorite places in the world.

Sarah Raplee said...

Wonderful St. Patrick's Day post! I never thought of Limericks as Irish before, but it makes sense.

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks, Paty! I enjoy limericks too. Wow, Judith, you've been to Limerick, Ireland? I would love to see pictures of western Ireland. Yep, Sarah, limericks are named after Limerick, Ireland!

Danita Cahill said...

I like limericks. Unfortunately most of the ones I know are raunchy, although there are two I could share...

There once was a woman from Trace,
Whose corset was too tight to lace.
Her mother said, "Nelly, there's more in your belly than ever went in through your face."

There was a young maid from Madrass,
Who had the most magnificent ass.
Not rounded and pink
As you probably think.
It was gray, had long ears
and ate grass!

Great post!

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks Danita! Great Limericks thanks for sharing!

Patricia said...

Great Limericks everyone!

Happy St. Paddy's day!

I too have blogged about this green day. You should be able to link up here: http://wp.me/1WFZU

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Miss Viola said...

The limericks are funny! Thanks for sharing. ~ Viola