The limerick’s an interesting form
They say that offense is really the norm
If some feathers aren’t ruffled
Or you’ve begun no kerfuffle
Your poem is sure to underperform.
While the limerick may have made an early appearance in the reverent context of a prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas, it was popularized by Edward Lear in nonsense poems for children, and the form later became the playground of the bawdy, with some even arguing that if a limerick is G-rated, it’s not really a limerick at all. On poetry’s special days throughout the year, Twitter is as flush with limericks as it is with the many variations of Roses are Red poems from once-a-year poets eager to test their meter.
Feel like trying your hand at a limerick? Our new limerick infographic has some tips (and chickens) to get you started. Note that a rhyming dictionary may be advised.
How to Write a Limerick Infographic
Post and infographic by Will Willingham.
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland
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