As most of you loyal readers know, I’ve become interested in photography. As such, I joined the PhotoForum. Among the many forums on this site, there is one that is titled, “General Off Topic Discussions.” On here, I have discovered that I am apparently pretty good at haikus and limericks. At first I was very intimidated by the idea of writing limericks, but after reading Wikipedia’s entry on Limericks, I have discovered that it is actually pretty easy.
Here’s a really quick, down and dirty page on how to write a limerick (well, the Jo Cose method anyway).
Typically, although not always, limericks are a wee dirty, but generally with innuendo…not usually with words (although the most famous are about some dude from Nantucket). The beauty, I think, in language is meaning one thing while saying another—that is where the true talent and skill with language really displays itself.
The structure is quite simple, really it’s 5 lines with 3 rhyming together and 2 rhyming together. Thus you have the following style:
Line 1: A
Line 2: A
Line 3: B
Line 4: B
The hard part is in the beats and stresses. Lines 1, 2, and 5 are 3 beats each, leading with an unstressed. Lines 3 and 4 are each 2 beats, again leading with an unstressed:
Line 1: unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed
Line 2: unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed
Line 3: unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed
Line 4: unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed
Line 5: unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed, unstressed, stressed
So, in the end, it should look a little like this (stressed beats are in bold; unstressed are normal; 1, 2, and 5 rhymes are italicized; and 3 and 4 rhymes are underlined:
Line 1: My boss is a pain in the rear.
Line 2: The thing she needs is clear.
Line 3: A very good lay,
Line 4: Will improve her day.
Line 5: Would take a lot of beer!