• Sarah E Waring

Poetry Lesson 2 - The Limerick

A limerick is a much easier and shorter poem than the more complicated Villanelle we saw in the last poetry post, and I have to admit I am a sucker for the slap stick comedy style of the limerick.


It does have a strict form, but is fun and quite easy to follow - The nonsensical, ridiculous and rhythmical storytelling of a limerick never fails to amuse me.


The limerick follows a rhythmic pattern of something called the anapaestic, but all you really need to feel is the beat. Look at the line below, you can see where the beat is in capitals.


Line 1) I ONCE went TO a barBEcue (3 beats) Line 3) But SHE got blind DRUNK (2 beats)

Here is a list of expectations for a limerick and my example.

  1. Must be five lines long and consecutive (The stanza)

  2. The first, second and fifth line should rhyme and have a beat of three

  3. The third and fourth should rhyme and have a beat of two

  4. The first, second and fifth line should have 8/9 syllables

  5. The third and fourth should have 5-6 syllables

  6. It's got to be goofy, the more ridiculous the better, but make sure it tells some kind of story

Here is my example ... I apologise for the ridiculousness in advance.




I hope you have a go and enjoy doing so!


Poetry lesson 1- The Villanelle


About me - I'm Sarah, I am self-published author, copywriter and colour therapist. I am also in my final studies of a creative writing & philosophy BA


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