How To Write Limerick Poetry

Explains how to write limerick poetry, with examples.

A limerick is a short form of poetry known for its humor. To write a limerick follow these simple steps.

First, read this sample limerick which demonstrates the syllabic and rhyme pattern.

There was a large lady from Perth

Who wanted to travel the earth

But her wish was in vain

For the door of the plane

Was not wide enough for her girth.

Note that the first, second and fifth lines each have eight syllables, and rhyme with each other, while the middle lines have only six syllables and a separate rhyme.



Now, to write your own limerick, begin by choosing a character and a place name. (Note here that if your place name is longer than one syllable you may expand your lines to nine instead of eight syllables.)

Think of some words which rhyme with your place name. Because the limerick is meant to be humorous, your rhymes may be silly - for example:

Sydney; kidney; didn' he.

Use two of these words to end the first two lines of your limerick, which introduce your character.

There was a young man from Sydney

Who only would eat steak and kidney.

Next, think of a problem for your character, and present it in your two short lines:

When the kidney ran out,

Though he started to shout,

Finally, finish with a resolution (ending) to your limerick, which should make your reader laugh.

He had to go hungry, didn' he?

Try this process to write limericks of your own. You will also find there are other ways of beginning your limerick:

A man with a very large nose . . .

While traveling one day in Peru . . .

I was startled one day by a hen . . .

Despite these differences, the basic limerick pattern remains the same.

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