In honor of April being “National Poetry Month,” I decided to take a break from writing (only for today), and write some poetry. This month I was honored to be chosen to participate in the March Madness Poetry Competion over at thinkkidthink.com. I was out the first round. All I needed was 2 author vote. But I did not get it. I did lose the public vote, but I won the student’s vote with a whopping 67% of the vote.

Anyway, whenever I am writing picture books or middle grade and I need to take a break, I would pause and right a few poems. So I think it is only fair that I take a break today and compose a couple of LIMERICKS. A LIMERICK is a five line poem that’s rather humorous and makes NO SENSE WHAT SO EVER!!! 😀

In the 1800’s, Edward Lear, an author and poet, published a “BOOK OF NONSENSE”. Literally!!! It was a book of silly poems. It must have been a hit because many poets have used this form to entertain others as well as themselves. So here are the steps to writing a limerick.

Lines 1, 2, and 5 MUST rhyme.
Lines 1, 2, and 5 MUST have the same number of syllables. (Preferably 8 or 9)
Lines 3 and 4 MUST rhyme with each other.
Lines 3 and 4 MUST have the same number of syllables. (Preferably 5 or 6)
Line 1 should begin, “There once was a …” or even “There was a…”

So the rhyme scheme should be AABBA. Here is a famous LIMERICK and my favorite.

“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.”

Why I love this? THE WORDPLAY or play on words. I like that the man was from Nan-tuck-et. But at the end, in line five, Nantucket is read as Nan-took-it. I love that.

Here are some LIMERICKS by Edward Lear. (The poems and illustrations below was taken from Nonsenselit.org.)

learThere was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, ‘It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’

lear 3 There was an Old Man with a nose,
Who said, ‘If you choose to suppose,
That my nose is too long,
You are certainly wrong!’
That remarkable Man with a nose.

lear 2 There was a Young Lady of Ryde,
Whose shoe-strings were seldom untied.
She purchased some clogs,
And some small spotted dogs,
And frequently walked about Ryde.



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