Limerick (poetry)

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For the Irish city of the same name, see Limerick
Oscar Wilde.jpg

The limerick -- believed by most scholars to be named for the town of Balymghoughlick, Ireland -- is a form of poetry similar to the Japanese haiku and tanka. Just as the haiku must include a seasonal reference or imagery (the cherry blossoms of spring, the carp-flinging dances of summer), so the limerick traditionally includes a person's name or home town, filth and/or sex, and a strict AABBA rhyme scheme.

There once was a cretin named Jack
Whose buttcrack ran right up his back.
Said he with a leer,
"Toilet paper, my dear?
I use a whole roll at one whack."

or this one

There once was a knight named James Lancelot,
Who looked at Miss Bailey askance a lot.
So whenever he'd pass,
That beautiful ass,
The front of his pants would advance-a-lot.

how about this one

There once was a man from Aberdeen,
Who invented a wanking machine.
On the fifty-fifth stroke,
the fucking thing broke,
and mangled his bollocks to cream.

The above poem adds internal rhymes and extra-filthy imagery, but serves as a reasonably concise example of the form. Here is another:

According to Uncyclopedia
(The only reliable media)
Some limericks are pure
But those ones are fewer;
The others are quite a lot seedier.

A few scholars believe that the true origin of the limerick lies with a wandering medieval magician called Eric who could turn people into fruit by reciting poetry at them. According to this theory, Eric would turn people into bananas by reciting a bananerick, into raspberries by reciting a raspberick, and into pineapples by reciting a pinaplerick. However, only the limerick, once used by Eric to turn his enemies into green citrus, has survived to the modern era. This is probably just as well.

In any case, limericks were ancestral to the sonata, which use a similarly rigid rhyme scheme.

Limerick Variations[edit | edit source]

The General Form[edit | edit source]

Nu nu nu nu nu nu nu nu
Na na na na na na na nu
Ni ni ni ni ni
Ne ne ne ne ni
No no no no no no no nu.

The Squeaky Clean[edit | edit source]

Cummings, Thomas, all that rot
None of their lines are very much hot
Some limericks are gaudy
Often dirty, often bawdy
But others are not.

The Unconventional[edit | edit source]

First, two lines that rhyme
Are required all of the time
Then two more
Lines three and four
The last rhymes with nothing.

the limerick is a kick i dont know what to say this poem is bad i am sad this is not a limerick

The Pretentious[edit | edit source]

A mosquito was heard to complain
That a chemist had poisoned his brain
The cause of his sorrow
Was 4-4 dichloro-

The Aldulterous[edit | edit source]

There once was a woman named Becca
Whose cunt had more pilgrims than Mecca
While her man was outside
Ol' George took a ride
And now all she wants is his pecca

The Subtle (and also pretentious)[edit | edit source]

There was an old man out of York
Who always ate soup with a stick
For he said "Since I eat
Neither fish, fowl, nor flesh
I would finish my dinner too soon."

The Limeraiku[edit | edit source]

Combine the two kinds
Five syllables in odd lines
Even have seven
Not twenty, not eleven
Now your poem shines

The Haikick[edit | edit source]

There was an old man
From Peru, whose lim'ricks all
Look'd like haiku. He
Said with a laugh "I
Cut them in half, the pay is
Much better for two."

The Gibberish Limerick[edit | edit source]

do do do do do do do do
blug blug blug blug blop
ploo ploo ploo ploo plop
rah rah rah rah rah rah rah Bob Dylan

The Lazy Limerick[edit | edit source]

There once was a man from Peru
Whose limericks stopped at line two.

The Lazier Limerick[edit | edit source]

There once was a man from Verdun

The Idiot's Limerick[edit | edit source]

There once was a fellow so purple,
That...oh crap, this isn't going to work!

The melancholy, ironic (bad) Limerick[edit | edit source]

The government's tryin' to get me
And my cat keeps threatening to vet me
So I went to the bank
And then I drank
So they just take out their bills and then debt me

The Bob Dylan (Bad) Limerick[edit | edit source]

He once was a man from Minnesota
But His voice carried better in North Dakota
So he complained about life
And he learned how to play the fife
And now I return to the coda. OOOOHHHH! (dc al coda)

The in-joke[edit | edit source]

There are those who say Uncyclopedia
is a parody of wikipedia.
Those in the know
know it just isn't so;
disagree? To the kittens we'll feed ya!

The Bob Dylan (Good) Limerick[edit | edit source]

Imagine William Shatner singing the "Bob Dylan (Bad) Limerick"

The Oscar Wilde Limerick[edit | edit source]

There once lived a man of superlative wit
There was never a pun that he could not hit.
He smacked down Churchill,
left him in the lurch, ill,
and completely destroyed him, the twit. ~ Oscar Wilde

Chuck Norris Limerick[edit | edit source]

There once was a guy named Chuck Norris
Who landed on the ground before us
Would he give us a good flick?
Or try a roundhouse kick?
In the end he decided to destroy us.

Higher Love Limerick[1][edit | edit source]

A growing young lad called Mike
Was aroused by riding his bike.
His confessor said: "Peddle faster.
You'll be seized by your Master.
And be loved by your Lord on your bike!"

Limericks by Famous Poets[edit | edit source]

Many of the great poets tried their hands at limericks.

By the shores of Gichee Gummee
An Indian maiden once knew me
She wanted Hiawatha
Not a silly paleface brotha
No matter how I begged her to chew me.
~Longfellow, Hiawatha
He clasps the crags with his crooked bird hands
On echoing cliffs he motionless stands
The distant sea crawls
He folds his wings, falls,
And like a thundermug he lands.
~Alfred "The Lord" Tennyson, The Eagle
There once were two roads in a yellow wood
I looked down one as long as I could
I could not travel both
(It might have stunted my growth)
And besides, they were slippery with mud.
~Robert "Freeze-Face" Frost, The Roads Not Taken