A How-To Manual First, consider its length: A limerick always has five lines. There's not much room for error here. Second, consider its rhyming scheme: A limerick always has an AABBA rhyme scheme, which means that the first, second, and fifth lines, as well as the third and fourth, end in a common rhyme. Finally, consider its content: A limerick is a poem about something funny. It's not supposed to make sense or describe an event - just make people laugh.
Since all these elements must be present for a poem to be considered a limerick, it follows that a six-line poem could not be called a limerick because it wouldn't have a proper ending. However, a seven-line poem might have a way out - it could include a self-referential joke where the last line repeats part of the first line. For example:
The more you know, the less you grow
When everything around you grows but you, they would say that you are not living life to the fullest. This kind of poem would fulfill all the requirements of a limerick and would also make people laugh. As you can see, there are many different ways to write poetry and create humor in your poems. Try writing limericks or other poems that use repetition to see what kinds of results you get.
A limerick is a five-line humorous poem. The first, second, and fifth lines of a limerick are somewhat longer (and all rhyme), but the third and fourth lines are shorter (and also rhyme with each other, but not with the other lines)—this implies it follows a rhyming pattern of A/A/B/B/A, with the B lines being shorter. Thus, all together there are three times as many words in a limerick as there are letters in the alphabet, which means that they can't be simple poems.
The short answer is that all the lines in a limerick should be about equal in length. Longer lines tend to work better because they give the reader time to catch up before the next line starts. However, if you write very long lines they may not fit on the page and become difficult to read. This problem can be avoided by using indentations to show where one line ends and the next begins.
Here are some examples of how different lengths of line can look when printed:
This is a very long word. Let's see if I can fit it on one line by itself. Nope! But maybe if I break this up into two lines it will fit better.
This is a medium-length word. It'll fit on one line just fine. You can probably even read it without looking at the dictionary first if you try hard enough.
A limerick is made up of five lines that are grouped in one verse. The first, second, and fifth lines all finish in rhyming terms. Lines three and four must rhyme. A limerick has an anapestic rhythm, which implies that two unstressed syllables are followed by a third stressed syllable. Thus, the poem contains both iambs and anapsis.
Can limericks have more than five lines? Yes, but only if you group them into rounds. A round is a set of three limericks that share a central theme or idea. For example, here are three rounds based on three limericks by Edward Lear:
The daffodil was born in jonquil's skin - she was his cousin once removed- And the jonquil was born in daffodil's skin - she was his other cousin twice removed. - So they were kind of related, even though they weren't really cousins.
The skunk at midnight smelled like dinner - he was hungry - But the dinner was poisoned - so he didn't eat it. - He had no choice but to smell terrible though.
The alligator, asleep at the bottom of the sea, Was dreaming about eating people - he was a murderer. - And what did he murder? People!
A limerick is a witty poetry that was first recorded in 1898. It must contain five lines to be considered a legitimate limerick. The first, second, and fifth lines are all rhymes. They too have three feet, each with three syllables. The third and fourth lines, which contain two foot and three syllables, likewise rhyme. The term "limerick" comes from the Irish language for "five-line poem."
There are many more than five possible lines of verse for a limerick. Some poets include an extra line or two at the end of a limerick, hoping to start another thought or idea. Others prefer not to limit themselves like this. Whatever method you choose, just make sure you follow it.
Here are some examples of limericks:
1 Ants march into battle armed with stings - No danger faced when they run!
2 Bacon is better than bacon rind - If you ask me!
3 Children should be seen and not heard - Unless you want your tail kicked!
4 Dogs bark. Cats hiss. Pigs oink. Sheep baaa. Goats bleat. Men talk. Women smile. Children go blind. The old turn gray. Death comes for us all. At least some people have found comfort in religion. I'm not talking about religion, but rather belief systems.
Limericks are five-line poems that are intended to be amusing. The first, second, and fifth lines must be seven to ten syllables long and rhyme with the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines should contain only five to seven syllables and must rhyme and have the same rhythm. This rule makes it possible to write humorous verses of any length.
As long as you follow these guidelines, you can write as many or few lines as you like. Some poets include up to seven or eight limericks in one poem.
The most famous limerick is probably this one written by Edward Lear:
Three little pigs went to market;
One was burnt up inside his house;
Two were eaten by dogs;
So the last pig had nothing to eat.
This story tells us about three little pigs who went to market. The first two pigs are destroyed by fire but the third escapes unharmed. After this experience, the third pig never goes to market again!
Poems are powerful tools for expressing yourself creatively. As we've seen, they can be as short or long as you want them to be. Sometimes poets write longer poems than others to express different ideas or feelings.