PF: Limericks to the rescue!

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.

©Molly Hogan


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.

©Molly Hogan

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:

Mary Lee Hahn at A(nother) Year of Reading
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche

34 thoughts on “PF: Limericks to the rescue!

  1. Tabatha says:

    I love your limericks and the ones you chose, Molly! I don’t know why I get such a kick out of “made cider inside her inside.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. haitiruth says:

    Ha! Nice job! I love the surprise in your second one! Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How good it feels to laugh! And I really like the idea of using a poetic form to describe the form—a great challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maryleehahn says:

    Oh, that final line! I was reading (cold) aloud, and both hubby and I burst out laughing! You NAILED the definition of limerick via limerick (and thanks for the bonus ones). Limerick to the rescue, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tee+d says:

    ☺ LOL, no we’re really NOT satisfied. Both of these are just so brilliant and fun. You nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Denise Krebs says:

    Yes, Molly! You did nail the limerick and the dissatisfaction when there is a glitch in the meter. Wow! Perfection. Nice job with this prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. margaretsmn says:

    Limericks are such a hard form to get right. These two are great. I love “amusingly rude.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Mitchell says:

    Your “to the rescue” reminded me of the movie, “The King’s Speech” and the role limericks played in the king’s attempts to deal with his stutter. So funny! And, your limericks are funny too. The fact that your Dad was reciting a limerick –very touching. Gosh, Molly. you are such a great, fun and funny friend. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You have definitely satisfied us with your limericks today, Molly! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hee heeeeee! Truly stress-relieving (perhaps unlike sonnets), to giggle, to anticipate naughtiness, to bump along to the beat and then be surprised! Fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Molly, your limericks are so much fun! “Limericks to the Rescue” could be the name of a book. I’d buy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bmagee10 says:

    Thanks for all the limerick smiles, Molly! My favorite limericks are always “amusingly rude”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Always easy to get your metrical feet entangled in each other, but not yours they’re light as a feather and dancing on, thanks for the smiles Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What fun are these limericks you shared! I love the cadence of a limerick and have tried them with my students before. You’ve hit on an aspect that I never thought about and that is their nasty or bawdy themes! Thanks for sharing – you gave me a much-needed laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. katswhiskers says:

    Haha. You have reminded me of my own limerick how-to, written long ago. But I think yours are more fun.

    A lim’rick is written in fun
    Line two sounds like lines five and one.
    Both the fourth line and third
    End in a rhyming word.
    It ends much like it has begun.

    This has been a great poetry challenge, and it’s been interesting/entertaining to see how you’ve all responded.


  16. […] Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of ReadingMolly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort ZoneLinda Mitchell @ A Word EdgewiseHeidi Mordhorst @ My Juicy Little UniverseMargaret Simon […]


  17. […] Mordhorst @ My Juicy Little UniverseMary Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of ReadingMolly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort ZoneLinda Mitchell @ A Word EdgewiseMargaret Simon @ Reflections on the […]


  18. gailaldousmsncom says:

    I laughed at all four of the limericks-just what I needed. You made me recall a memory of reading them as a child and cracking up. I remember reading “the cider inside her inside” and the limerick your father told. I know they’re a challenge to write and you make it seem so easy. Have you been working on limericks with your second graders? I have always loved working with that age group. You must be having so much fun with them.


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