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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Limerick Off ~ How do you write yours?

I am thrilled to say I was winner of Limerick of the Week (17) on Mad Kane's blog in the last but one week’s Limerick-Off. (1st line supplied)








A wo-man who al-ways felt free (8 syllables)
Used to hang up-side down from a tree
(9 syllables)
In the dead of the night (6 syllables)
A young boy took a fright
(6 syllables)
Now he’s scared to go out for a pee
(9 syllables)
 

For anyone who doesn't know
A limerick is

·         a kind of a witty, humorous, 'nonsense' poem that nevertheless, tells a story.
·         usually in five-lines with a strict (AABBA) rhyme scheme,
·         based on the rhythm "da-da-Dum" (anapest metre)
·         Lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme with each other and have three of those da-da-Dum "feet".
·         Lines 3 and 4  rhyme with each other and have two da-da-Dum "feet"
·         The content is often humorously obscene.
·         The form can be found in England from the early years of the 18th century.
·         It was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century, although he did not use the term.


So how do I compose my Limericks?

It's tempting to want to write them off-the-cuff and some people are able to very easily, but like a good poem research is the key.


So then Madeleine Kane gives the first line for everyone to use as:

A gal who was lovely and fair


Now it is the second line that must have the hook to draw the reader in. So I turn to my Thesaurus for ideas.


Does she have a fair complexion; blonde /auburn hair?

Had fly-away gingery hair  or  Had fiery, ginger-red hair or maybe beneath all that loveliness she had a difficult, naughty, willful streak


Who didn’t like washing her hair.  Or  Who liked to lure men to her lair

or is she honest, impartial and unbiased?

Who had an uncompromising air

Now, before I tie myself in knots over the next 2 lines, I must decide how it will end, so having chosen line 2, I think about the last line rhyme and where the story is heading.

I finally came up with two:


A gal who was lovely and fair
Just didn’t like washing her hair.
It got so entangled
And wiry and brambled
That Sparrows began nesting there.


A gal who was lovely and fair
Often liked to lure men to her lair
She tore off her vest
And puffed out her chest
Then lay with her legs in the air.





How do you write your Limericks?


UPDATE: After the busy week sorting out my mum, which was a relief, I had to return again as my dad was admitted to hospital with a serious, re-ocuuring complaint, so it's been something of a nightmare week. As he cannot speak and as hospital notes are locked away at the weekends I'm glad I was there to help answer their questions. I expect to return to Bath again tomorrow.