Today, May 12, is Limerick Day!

Our next Forum meeting is Saturday, May 21, and Jeanette Maes is presenting a program on Ella Wheeler Wilcox. We will meet in the Barnet Gallery, and we have been given special permission to have food. However, the library is having trouble with its water so we are advised to bring our own.

As usual, you are encouraged to bring copies of any poems for which you would appreciate gentle critiques.

In the meantime, I came across this in the New York Times today and thought you might enjoy it!

Back Story

(Stolen from the New York Times, 5/12/2016)

There was an old man in a tree, Whose whiskers were lovely to see; But the birds of the air, Pluck’d them perfectly bare, To make themselves nests on that tree.

That might sound a bit like Dr. Seuss, but it was written by the British painter and poet Edward Lear, who popularized limerick poems in his “Book of Nonsense” (1846).

He was born on this day in 1812, which is why today is Limerick Day. (CKO’s emphasis)

The limerick’s name has been traced to France, where an 18th-century Irish Brigade was serving.

The men returned with a song, “Will You Come Up to Limerick?” — an Irish city and county. The chorus may have developed into what became the limerick form, some scholars say.

Lear had been hired to paint an aristocrat’s private menagerie and he came up with his poems to amuse the children in the household. He said he got the idea from an old nursery rhyme.

The five-line poems have an AABBA rhyme scheme, meaning the first, second, and last lines rhyme, as do the third and fourth lines.

The first and second lines introduce a character, activity or setting, while the third and fourth lines are generally shorter to intensify the punch line.

So, just for fun, why not try one?



One thought on “Today, May 12, is Limerick Day!

  1. Reblogged this on Reflections on Mackerel Cove and commented:

    Nice little clip from the North Shore Poet’s Forum on the limerick form.
    Here’s mine:
    There was a red bird in a tree,
    Whose feathers were lovely to see;
    And his song was so fair,
    As it pluck’d from very air
    That I sang along out of key!

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