A limerick is a humorous, nonsensical poem that contains five lines with a specific rhyme scheme of AA BB A. Limerick poetry is also often referred to as nonsense poetry and it is typically used for fun and entertaining events.
Alimerick is said to have started in Ireland. Limericks are often characterised by use of humour, exaggeration/ hyperbole, and a strict rhyme scheme of AA BB A.
“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 was an Old Person whose habits,
Induced him to feed upon rabbits;
When he’d eaten eighteen,
He turned perfectly green,
Upon which he relinquished those habits.
A standard limerick has the following features
- A one-stanza poem with five lines, no more, no less.
- Made up of thirty-nine syllables in total (9-9-6-6-9).
- The first, the second and the fifth lines are long and rhyme.
- Those three lines have three feet of three syllables each.
- The third and fourth lines are shorter and they rhyme too.
- The two lines have only two feet of three syllables.
- Have rhyme which creates a rhythmic pattern.
- Are often humorous/ funny and sometimes obscene.