Now it’s high time for some Limericks.


Limericks? you say.

Limericks are sometimes looked down on. Why? Some of the reasons given are:

1/they’re simple
2/they’re short
3/they only have 5 lines
4/they’re not very hard to write

(Come to think of it, isn’t that pretty much what some people think of children’s picture books? Yes but never mind, onward.)

And because they’re not hard to do, All And Sundry joined in evidently–mostly in pubs while drunk–so, worst of all, they tended to be: 5/”bawdy”. Shakespeare wrote them (he has some in two of his greatest plays Othello and King Lear) so if they’re good enough for Shakespeare…

But the master of Limericks is Edward Lear. There had long been an oral tradition of nonsense poetry in the English language, from nursery rhymes to schoolyard chants and drinking songs. But Edward Lear was the first English writer to make nonsense poetry into an art form: something worth writing and publishing in its own right.

So without further ado, one of my favorites (complete with Lear’s own line illustration):



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2 Responses to “Limericks”

  1. Karen

    There once was a woman of words,
    Who knew that the truth must be heard.
    So, she told of the Son,
    and of all He had done,
    So the children would trust in the Word.


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