Limerick (poetry)

Limerick (poetry)

A limerick is a kind of a witty, humorous, or nonsense poem, especially one in five-line anapestic or amphibrachic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA), which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent. The form can be found in England as of the early years of the 18th century. It was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century, although he did not use the term.

The following limerick is of unknown origin:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene, and cites similar opinions by Arnold Bennett and George Bernard Shaw, describing the clean limerick as a periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity. From a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function.

Read more about Limerick (poetry):  Form, Origin of The Name, Edward Lear, Variations, World War II, In Popular Culture

Other articles related to "limerick, limericks":

Limerick (poetry) - In Popular Culture
... Tell Me!", there is a segment called the "Listener LimerickChallenge" in which news-related limericksare read ...

Famous quotes containing the word limerick:

    Galway is a blackguard place,
    To Cork I give my curse,
    Tralee is bad enough,
    But Limerick is worse.
    Which is worst I cannot tell,
    They’re everyone so filthy,
    But of the towns which I have seen
    Worst luck to Clonakilty.
    —Anonymous. “Clonakilty,” from Geoffrey Grigson’s Faber Book of Epigrams and Epitaphs, Faber & Faber (1977)