When life is feeling a bit overwhelming, it’s surprising how often a limerick can come to the rescue. It’s an easy access poem, with no claim to deeper meaning and a delight in being trivial. How refreshing is that?! It also can incorporate some stunningly adept and amusing word play. And let’s not forget the occasional bawdy humor.
Here’s one of my favorite limericks by Ogden Nash:
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!
Another fabulous limerick, author unknown:
There was a young lady of Ryde
Who ate some green apples and died;
The apples fermented
Inside the lamented
And made cider inside her inside.
I mean, really, how fabulous is that?
Many people can pull a limerick out of their memory. Maybe this is due to the distinct rhythm and rhyme scheme, or perhaps due to their often naughty nature. On a recent visit, my dad regaled us with this limerick, author unknown:
There was a young lady from Thrace
Whose corsets grew too tight to lace.
Her mother said, “Nelly,
There’s more in your belly
Than ever went in through your face!
So, I suppose it’s not surprising that I turned to limericks when approaching our group’s most recent challenge. This month Mary Lee Hahn selected the challenge. She suggested that we “Explain a poetry term (simile, metaphor, allegory, allusion, etc) in a poem that makes use of that term. OR tell how to write a poetry form (ode, elegy, sonnet, limerick, etc) in that form.”
Here are my efforts:
If your poems tend toward nude or to crude
Here’s a form with the right attitude
It’s short, though not sweet
with distinct metric feet
and in five lines, amusingly rude.
A limerick’s a poem with a beat
a pattern of metrical feet
It’s rhyme scheme is set
and if you forget
your readers really won’t be satisfied.
This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Catherine Flynn at her blog, Reading to the Core. Make sure to check out her response to the challenge.
If you’d like to see what other Inklings did with this challenge, check out their sites here: