If you’re running low on limerick ideas, then look no further than the always enchanting animal kingdom. Recently, scientists discovered the first giant living shipworm off the coast of the Philippines. They described its appearance best: “about three feet long and glistening black with a pink, fleshy appendage, it looks like the entrails of an alien from a bad horror film.”
It’s not difficult to imagine the limerick possibilities.
Newspaper editor of the Tennessean, Dixon Lanier Merritt once wrote a limerick inspired by the image on a post card he received from a reader:
A wonderful bird is the pelican.
His bill can hold more than his belican.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!
Try It: Animal Limericks
Think of animals that make you smile. Bipeds, quadrapeds, giant shipworms! Pick the most limerick-worthy animal you can imagine. Consider the strange and wonderful characteristics of your animal— the things that make you snicker. Channel that laughter and write a limerick for the ages in honor of your chosen critter.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. We got a kick out of this cheeky limerick from Glynn:
She always thought she was hipper,
Finding booze as more than a sipper.
She walked into a bar
To become a new star
And ended a Bourbon Street stripper.
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