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Limerick Poetry

A limerick is a silly poem with five lines.  They are often funny or nonsensical.  All of the limericks on our site are family friendly (G-rated).

How to write a limerick:

The first, second and fifth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 8 or 9).  The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables (typically 5 or 6).

Limericks often start with the line "There once was a..." or "There was a..."

Example of an 8,8,5,5,8 syllable limerick:

There once was a clover named Kate,
Who sat on the edge of a plate
,
The fancy folk dined
,
On foods of all kind
,
Then tossed her at quarter past eight
.

History of the limerick:

Limericks were made famous by Edward Lear, a famous author who wrote the "Book of Nonsense" in the 1800's.  This was an entire book of silly limericks.

Limericks aren't Irish (Edward Lear was English) -- but there is a Limerick county in Ireland and they are fun little poems for children to write -- so writing Saint Patrick's day limericks with the class is a fun and educational exercise for children to do.  For young children, you can focus on the rhyming and ignore the syllable count.

You don't have to do a Saint Patrick's theme -- you can write limericks with any theme you like!

Examples of limericks:

I've included a couple of Saint Patrick's day limericks I've written and some of the original limericks written by Edward Lear.

I hope you enjoy and that you take the time to try writing one of your own!

 

Limericks by Leanne Guenther:

St. Patrick's Day Limerick 1

St. Patrick's Day Limerick 2

St. Patrick's Day Limerick 3


Limericks by Edward Lear:

There was a Young Lady of Ryde

There was a Young Lady whose Bonnet

There was an Old Man in a Boat

There was an Old Man in a Tree

There was an Old Man of Kilkenny

There was an Old Man of Marseilles

There was an Old Man of Quebec

There was an Old Man who Supposed

There was an Old Man with a Beard

There was an Old Man with a Flute


Printable version of these instructions

 


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