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Limericks

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k c

on 2 October 2013

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Transcript of Limericks

Limericks
What is it?
A limerick is short and humorous, sometimes
even described as a nonsense poem. It's usually upbeat and cheerful, as opposed to the elegy, which is a 'lament poem'. The original form was a five-line stanza, but it can be and has been altered by different people over time. The limerick was made popular by Edward Lear during the 19th century.
Forms
The original rhyme scheme is
AABBA
, for example:
The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical


A macho young swimmer named Dwyer,

Really liked playing with fire.

One night in the dark

He swam with a shark,

And his voice is now two octaves higher.
Examples
There was a young man of Japan
Whose limericks never would scan
When asked why this was,
He replied "It's because
I always try to fit as many syllables into the last line as ever I possibly can."
A
Edward Lear
Edward Lear was a famous author, illustrator, artist, and poet. He was most well-known for his works in limericks. In total, he wrote 212 of them, including his works in 'A Book of Nonsense' in 1845. He uses real AND invented words. Here are some poems about him that were found of unknown origin.


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!'
There once was a young girl named Paddy,
Who really was quite catty.
She jumped off a roof
To show there was proof
That she could land on the ground like a tabby.
My Limericks
Found on the internet
Analysis
At the time, it was customary for the final line of the limerick to end with the same word as the first line. Also, a silly drawing would accompany the poem, as it is in the poem above. Edward Lear drew all his illustrations, like this one. There aren't any sound devices except for rhyme in this poem. Most importantly, this limerick is
funny
. All in all, this is a basic limerick.
A
A
B
B
A
How-To
The way to read the syllables in a limerick is:
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM=
“There once was a fellow named Tim”
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM=
"His dad never taught him to swim"
da DUM da da DUM=
“He fell off the dock”
da DUM da da DUM=
"And sank like a rock"
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM=
"And that was the end of him"

The first line usually introduces a character. The rest of the poem tells a funny story about the character. So the basic rules to a limerick are just to be funny, and usually there are five lines and a fundamental rhyming scheme.
Silly Millie
There once was a girl named Millie,
who was known for being silly,
one day in the zoo,
she ran into an ewe,
and that was the end of Millie.
(and the ewe)
A
B
B
A
There once was an author called Edward,
Who looked disappointed, and said “Could
We please have better words
Than the ones that I’ve heard?”
So he made up his own – and they’re dead good.
You’ve heard of a writer called Lear?
His two hundred
(and first)
birthday’s this year.
They called him absurd
But he wrote undeterred,
That remarkable writer called Lear.
Full transcript