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Hello, Frank Hubeny here. Today’s form is the limerick, a tiny poem that sharpens its point in five short lines.

Madeleine Begun Kane covered limericks before: https://dversepoets.com/2012/03/22/formforall-how-to-write-a-limerick/ If you don’t know how to write a limerick, she provides a good description. She also has a humor blog in which she hosts a bi-weekly contest with prompts for limericks. This is where you can get an idea of what a limerick sounds like if you don’t already know: http://www.madkane.com/humor_blog/category/limerick-offs/

The limerick’s rhyme and meter sound is strict. To illustrate that sound pattern, the poem is often displayed on the page in five lines. Lines one, two and five have the same rhyme sound with three anapestic feet each. Lines three and four have a different rhyme sound with two anapestic feet each. This is what the reader expects to hear as far as meter and rhyme go. Here’s the best part: There are no other constraints except that those fickle readers will expect to be entertained.

Many limericks, perhaps too many, start with “There once was a…” much like fairy tales start with “Once upon a time…”. This is not a requirement even though there are a whole class of limericks that start with “There once was a man from Nantucket”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_once_was_a_man_from_Nantucket Wikipedia credits Dayton Vorhees as originating the line in 1902. Here’s the poem:

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

Notice that this limerick doesn’t have a title. These poems are so short that titles are optional. However, I title every limerick I write even if I am only brave enough to recite or post the body of the limerick.

Readers expect limericks to be humorous, erotic, politically satirical or just plain stupid, but they don’t have to be any of these things. They can have any content as long as they fit the meter and rhyme sound.

For some writing a limerick may seem difficult. So, let’s relax the limerick rules for this challenge especially for those new to writing these little poems. All we have to do is write five lines of poetry that pretend to be a limerick. Do you need a specific writing prompt? Ask in the comment section below and I will give you one.

Here are the rules:

  • Write your limerick, or limerick-wanna-be, on any topic and post it on your blog.
  • Add a link to your specific blog post in the Mister Linky.
  • Say hello in the comments below. This is also where you can ask me for a writing prompt if you can’t think of a topic to write about.
  • Read and comment on others who have linked up with you. That’s how we get to know each other better.

I’m looking forward to reading your limericks or your limerick-wanna-be’s!