December 2nd. The Limerick

The limerick is a typical English form which is used almost exclusivelyfor humorous and nonsense poetry.

The origin of the form is obscure and the name probably derives from the refrain "Will you come up to Limerick?" which was added to nonsense potery composed at convivial parties.
The elements that characterise a limerick concern the number of lines, the rhyme scheme, the stress pattern, the syntax, the subject-matter and the development of ideas.

A limerick is five lines long and has a 3, 3, 2, 2, 3 stress pattern rhyming aabba. It is meant to be amusing.

Learn more

  • Features
  • A Tutorial