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Sunday, 9 February 2014

How to write a Limerick.

BY:  Aamir Qureshi

What is a Limerick? How do you write a Limerick?

A limerick is a short form of poetry known for its wit.
To write a limerick follow these simple steps.

First, read the example limericks below by Edward Lear (1812-1888)

There was a Young Lady of Portugal,
Whose ideas were excessively nautical
She climbed up a tree,
To examine the sea,
But declared she would never leave Portugal

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!'

A limerick is a verse of five lines, usually humorous. The last word of lines one, two, and five must rhyme with each other, and the last word of lines three and four must rhyme with each other. (And not with lines 1,2 and 3).
Line 1    Long    Rhyme 1
Line 2    Long    Rhyme 1
Line 3    Short    Rhyme 2
Line 4    Short    Rhyme 2
Line 5    Long    Rhyme 1
Now, to write your own limerick, begin by choosing a character and/or a location.

The typical use for the first line is to identify a location or a person, as in "There was a Young Lady of Portugal." Or “There was a young boy from the south.”

At this point while you are picking your location or name of a person. You should already be thinking of words that rhyme with Portugal or South, which you can use to end your second line as well as the final line. Because the limerick is meant to be funny, your rhymes can be silly.

Hint! Don't end your first line with a word that is impossible to rhyme with.

Next, think of a plot which you can expand on in line two as in:
There was a Young Lady of Portugal,
Whose ideas were excessively nautical

At this point, you get the freedom of starting a new rhyme for the next two short lines of the limerick. Think of some action, problem,  for your character, and write about it in your two short lines: For example:
She climbed up a tree,
To examine the sea,

Finally, finish with a ending to your limerick, which should make your reader laugh,  and which rhymes with the last word of lines one and two.

For example (as in Edward Lear's Limerick above):

But declared she would never leave Portugal

Robert Southey (1774-1843) wrote these two famous nursery rhyme as Limericks:

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
    Frogs and snails
    And puppy-dog tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
    Sugar and spice
    And all that's nice,
That's what little girls are made of.

 

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